Never Mind Bathrooms – The GOP Is Coming for Trans People’s Health Care

Transgender rights are improving, but not without significant pushback from conservative politicians. Access to restrooms remains a contentious issue, and now even access to health care is under attack at both the state and federal level.



Donald Trump’s White House has finalized some changes to health care policy allowing doctors, nurses and the like to refuse service to patients on religious grounds. Per usual with Christian conservatives, it’s not religious freedom if you’re not being an asshole to marginalized people.

The administration has the nerve to call this new rule the “conscience rule,” which is a weird way of describing denying essential medical services to patients in need. Though all sorts of people are at risk due to this rule change, the transgender community is especially vulnerable to being turned away if the health care provider doesn’t “agree” with a person’s gender identity.

“No one should have to check the religious affiliation of a hospital in order to make sure they can get the care their doctors prescribed them,” said Gillian Branstetter, a spokesperson for the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Religious liberty is a bedrock principle for all Americans, including transgender people, but this regulation is a perversion of that principle.”

The White House’s argument for this rule is basically that it’s better to keep health care providers in the field that would otherwise leave if they had to help certain types of patients like trans people. When asked directly about the communities that only have Catholic hospitals, the Office for Civil Rights actually contended it was better that some people get treated than no one.

Is it really so outrageous to treat all patients seeking care rather than just the ones you share a religious kinship with?



It’s only been a matter of weeks since the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously tossed out a law that blocked transgender people from using Medicaid to cover sex reassignment surgery, but state legislators have already sought to undermine that.

Without any warning, discussion or public input, legislators added a provision to a larger health care bill that allows entities to reject public insurance money (like Medicaid and the ACA) to cover transition procedures. Essentially, it’s a different way of getting the same result, and the GOP-led legislatures passed the bill.

Although groups like the Human Rights Campaign begged Governor Kim Reynolds to block this provision – she had the option of vetoing the one provision and keeping the rest of the bill law – Reynolds signed it anyway.

“It’s deeply disappointing that Gov. Kim Reynolds is caving to the pressure from some radical lawmakers in the Iowa Senate instead of protecting the rights and dignity of transgender Iowans,” said an HRC spokesperson.

Hopefully, the state Supreme Court will see that lawmakers just tried to enact the same discrimination in a slightly different way and strike this rule down, too.


Take Action!

At the federal level, you can join tens of thousands of other Care2 members in telling Congress to protect health care for transgender Americans by signing this petition. While you’re at it, why not start a petition of your own?


Lara A
Lara A1 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

Daniel N
Daniel N2 days ago

Thanks for posting

Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill6 days ago


Richard E Cooley

Thank you.

Ellie L
Emma L8 days ago

Thank you

Martha P
Martha P9 days ago

thank you for posting

Amparo Fabiana C

The cray cray self righteous alt right and religious deniers. Thats how they make money.

pam w
pam w11 days ago

I see that the usual ''no such thing as transgender people...and even if there are...why should I pay for their surgery'' CHRISTIANS have been here, spreading judgmental hatred.

pam w
pam w11 days ago

Still sucking up to the rabid evangelicals, you pustular president? Despicable!

Danuta W
Danuta Watola12 days ago

Thanks for sharing.