Groups fight Trump’s transgender healthcare rollbacks
LGBTQ advocacy, civil rights, and medical groups are pushing back against the Trump administration on implementing transgender healthcare rollbacks.
The rollbacks range from not allowing the use of the term “gender identity” in protections against discrimination, to a rule that forces healthcare providers not to give transgender or abortion services.
Transgender healthcare rollbacks is discriminatory
The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department had earlier proposed a regulation that declared “gender identity” as not being protected under federal laws that prohibit discrimination in healthcare.
The said regulation would rollback an earlier ruling made during the Obama administration that declared that the anti-discrimination section of the Affordable Care Act covers transgender people as well.
HHS Office for Civil Rights head Roger Severino said the Trump administration wants to go back to the literal text of the ACA’s anti-discrimination law against overly broad interpretation.
Louise Melling, deputy legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “Despite the goals of this White House… courts have been clear for decades that prohibitions on sex discrimination encompass discrimination against transgender individual.”
Melling further warned that this proposed rule could also target women for discrimination for seeking an abortion as it would remove “termination of pregnancy” as grounds for claiming discrimination.
Groups sue Trump administration on rollbacks
Meanwhile, sixteen healthcare groups are suing the Trump administration to block a rule targeting transgender and abortion care.
This rule was released last May and is supposed to protect healthcare providers from giving “abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide” if they have a moral or religious objection to the procedures.
The lawsuit, which was filed at the US District Court in Santa Clara County in California, argued that the rule tells healthcare providers that they should limit or not provide abortion care or sex reassignment.
The lawsuit warned that if they don’t follow, these providers could lose government funding. This could lead to abortion and transgender services even less available in rural areas.
“This rule is yet another example of the Trump administration turning religious freedom into a weapon to discriminate,” said Genevieve Scott, a senior staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Trump administration pushing transgender healthcare rollbacks
LGBTQ advocates warned that the Trump administration is trying to make things easier for hospitals, insurance plans, doctors, and pharmacists to turn away transgender people.
Andy Marra, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, said: “There is nothing conscionable or humane about placing transgender people in harm’s way when we already face immense barriers.”
Jay Michaelson, writing in The Daily Beast, said that the administration is intent in creating “two separate and unequal health-care systems in America.”
Michaelson said that while one is for “straight people protected by law,” the other is for “transgender people, women, and gays” to be discriminated against “even if their lives are in danger.”
He further noted “conservative religious organizations have invented hypothetical stories of religious medical providers being forced to perform gender-confirmation surgery or face costly lawsuits.”