State Laws Violate Trans Health Rights

Maria Verduzco, Editorial Writer

In the midst of a global pandemic, it seems President Trump found it more important to make discrimination against transgender people legal rather than keeping everyone safe. During Trump’s presidency, he often targeted LGBTQ+ rights and actively tried making bills/laws against them.

On June 12, 2020 the Trump Administration finalized a policy stating that section 1557 under the Affordable Care Act, a section which states that no one is to be discriminated against regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or national origin, was changed to exclude discrimination against one’s sex and gender, making it legal for Health Care providers to turn away and refuse people within the trans community. This policy also made it legal to exclude any gender transition surgeries from insurance coverage. Thankfully, on August 17, 2020 a federal judge blocked the policy from taking effect, but it was only temporary.

In 2021 alone 33 states have created more than 100 bills that aim to discriminate against trans people, and essentially inhibit many trans rights. Many of these bills include discrimination against trans minors, who currently have no say in their rights. Within the past year 20 states have introduced bills to ban gender-affirming health care for minors. In Alabama, a bill was introduced that would make it a felony for medical providers to provide any kind of transition-related care to transgender minors.

In better news, on September 3 of this year North Carolina made it legal for any transgender person enrolled in the North Carolina State Health Plan to file a lawsuit for any discrimination following the decision of 2018 to exclude all coverage for surgical care, gender dysphoria counceling, and horomone therapy. This is only one step towards ending the taboo and discrimination surrounding transgender people but hopefully it’s a big enough step to continue and end it for good.