Out Abroad: UK Scraps IVF Laws that Deny Access to People with HIV; World Bank Implements LGBTQ Safeguards in Uganda

Health Minister Maria Caulfied. Photo by By Chris McAndrew, via Wikimedia Commons.

The United Kingdom gets rid of IVF laws that deny access to people with HIV, the World Bank implements LGBTQ safeguards in Uganda, and Japan deems mandatory sterilization as unconstitutional.

UK Scraps IVF Laws That Deny Access To People With HIV

Two legal changes regarding IVF will no longer deny access to people with HIV nor require lesbians to pay for expensive pre-screening.

According to The Guardian, The Department of Health and Social Care said same-sex couples with undetectable HIV will now be able to access fertility treatment.

In addition, the added costs required for lesbian couples trying to conceive through IVF will no longer be a factor.

Following the announcement, Health Minister Maria Caulfied told The Gaurdian, “Millions of couples dream of the joy of parenthood and bringing life into the world. But for many, that joy turns to unimaginable pain as they experience the distress of fertility issues.”

The Ministers hope this will support more people as they try to conceive.

World Bank Implementing LGBTQ Safeguards in Uganda


Victoria Kwakwa. Photo via worldbank.org.

Before the World Bank resumes funding in Uganda, they want to ensure that gay and transgender citizens are not discriminated against.

This comes after the bank halted funding for the country after they passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act. According to Reuters, the act prescribes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts and has unleashed a “torrent of abuse” against LGBTQ people.

"We're doing all this to clarify this is not what you should be doing in World Bank-financed projects and to say you are allowed to do it the right way, and you will be not be arrested," said Victoria Kwakwa, the bank's head for eastern and Southern Africa.

There is no timeline as to when the funding will resume.

Mandatory Sterilization Deemed Unconstitutional In Japan


Kanae Doi, the Japan director of Human Rights Watch. Photo via Facebook.

The top court in Japan has ruled that a legal clause, requiring sterilization surgery as a step to legally change their gender, is unconstitutional.

According to The Guardian, the European Court of Human Rights, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, The United Nations, and other international organizations said the clause was discriminatory and infringed on human rights.

“This decision was very unexpected, and I’m very surprised,” said the plaintiff in the case, who identifies as a trans woman under the age of 50.

Now that the judiciary has rendered its decision, human rights groups are looking towards Japan’s legislature to cement this ruling as law.

As of now, the law states that people who want to change gender need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and meet five requirements: being 18+ years old, unmarried, no underage children, having genital organs that resemble those of the opposite gender; and having no reproductive glands or ones that have permanently lost their function.

“The government is under the obligation to make any laws constitutional, so the government now needs to act quickly to remove the clause,” Kanae Doi, the Japan director of Human Rights Watch, told The Guardian. “It’s late, but never too late.”


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