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Articles written by Carly Graf

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  • 'Conscience' Bills Let Medical Providers Opt Out of Providing a Wide Range of Care

    Carly Graf, KFF|Aug 9, 2023

    A new Montana law will provide sweeping legal protections to health care practitioners who refuse to prescribe marijuana or participate in procedures and treatments such as abortion, medically assisted death, gender-affirming care, or others that run afoul of their ethical, moral, or religious beliefs or principles. The law, which goes into effect in October, will gut patients’ ability to take legal action if they believe they didn’t receive proper care due to a conscientious objection by a provider or an institution, such as a hospital. So-...

  • Fentanyl use in Montana driving spike in overdose deaths

    Carly Graf, Montana Free Press|Jul 12, 2023

    Deaths by drug overdose in Montana continue to rise. Nearly 200 people in Montana died due to drug overdoses in 2021, the last year that comprehensive data is available, according to the state's health department. That's nearly 40 more lives lost than in 2020 and 80 more than in 2017. Yellowstone County, the state's most populous, had the highest number of fatal overdoses, followed by Missoula County. Neither autopsies nor toxicological testing are performed on every person who dies from an... Full story

  • Montana youth mental health needs on the rise

    Carly Graf, Montana Free Press|Nov 9, 2022

    Young people in Montana were twice as likely to die by suicide than in the rest of the country during the last decade, according to state statistics. Data from 2011 to 2020 released this spring by the state's Department of Public Health and Human Services shows that kids between the ages of 11 and 17 committed suicide at a rate of 11.9 per 100,000 people during those years, double the national average. And despite increased attention by schools, mental health resources remain inadequate to the... Full story