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August 13, 2019

The ACLU of Virginia urged the United States Department of Health and Human Services not to roll back health care protections for transgender people. In comments submitted today objecting to proposed changes to the Health Care Rights Law, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the ACLU stressed the devastating health consequences for transgender people, those seeking reproductive health care including abortion, as well as people of color, people who are disabled, those with limited English proficiency, and others.

“Transgender and non-binary people belong in Virginia and we will fight back against any attempts to erase transgender people from our laws,” said Bill Farrar, director of strategic communications for the ACLU of Virginia. “The administration wants to take away protections to stop that discrimination, an action that will lead to devastating health consequences.”

Since taking office, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back protections for transgender people in education, the military, prisons, and homeless shelters, in addition to health care. On October 8, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case involving Aimee Stephens who was fired because she is transgender. While a federal appeals court and the federal agency in charge of workplace discrimination complaints have said transgender people are protected from discrimination, the Department of Justice reversed positions under the Trump administration. However, in both health care and employment, the Trump administration cannot erase decades of court decisions saying trans people are protected under laws prohibiting sex discrimination.

“Seven in 10 people, including a majority of Virginians, support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. We must demand that this administration stop attacking trans people and encourage the people of Virginia to submit a comment on the proposed rule.”

Comments on the proposed rule are due to the federal government August 13.