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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Trans Rights Are Repro Rights Are Trans Rights

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PHOTO: A nonbinary person in a hospital gown lies on a medical table while a doctor performs a pelvic exam. Credit: Zachary Drucker/Gender Spectrum

Alongside their efforts to remove legal protections for transgender people accessing health care, the Trump administration is also threatening a key source of funding for reproductive health providers across the country.

Announced last year, the Department of Health and Human Services is threatening to cut off Title X funding for any health care provider that even so much as mentions abortion. If implemented, this rule will threaten the health care access of tens of millions of people who need these clinics for reproductive care--including transgender people.

We recently joined a legal brief explaining the harm posed by this rule to the health care needs of the LGBTQ population:

“In recent years, many reproductive health care providers have filled a critical gap in the provision of health care to the LGBTQ community.  These clinics have created welcoming spaces and health care services designed to serve LGBTQ people, who otherwise face pervasive discrimination in the health care system.  They have created nondiscriminatory environments for LGBTQ people to receive care, from general wellness services to more specific services for transgender patients, including hormone therapy.  These clinics are particularly well-suited to provide LGBTQ care because of their expertise in providing services that are still stigmatized, such as abortion, contraception, and screening and treatment for STIs.  

These providers recognize that LGBTQ people face bias in the health care system and need competent, affirming services from practitioners who understand the harmful effects of stigma.  As stated by Sean Cahill, director of health policy research at the Fenway Institute, “[b]eing able to treat LGBTQ patients means ‘understanding that LGBT people in our society experience discrimination, victimization and bullying.’” Comprehensive reproductive health care providers occupy a critical niche within the health care system precisely because they provide services that many will not; this forms an important component of the cultural competency that they bring to LGBTQ health care.”

To learn more about this rule, visit our friends at Planned Parenthood and learn what you can do to help.

 
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