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Trump Administration Reportedly Dismantling More Trans Protections

Trump administration reportedly rolling back transgender protections in Affordable Care Act.

"These protections are essential and even lifesaving for transgender people.”

The Trump administration's totally unnecessary campaign against trans people's quality of life continues with a reported effort to make gender-affirming medical care even more difficult to access.

According to trans advocates who spoke to CNN, the Department of Health and Human Services is trying to unravel the trans protections found in the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits doctors who receive federal money from denying care to trans patients on account of their gender identity. Under the proposed new rule, which HHS officials may announce as soon as Friday, doctors would be legally empowered to deny treatment to trans people on religious or otherwise personally motivated grounds.

HHS didn't confirm or deny the report when reached for comment. ("We cannot go into further detail because these matters are subject to ongoing litigation, and rulemaking processes and procedures governed by the Administrative Procedure Act and subject to longstanding Executive Branch policy," a spokesperson told CNN.) But advocates for trans issues are worried -- and rightfully so.

"These protections are essential and even lifesaving for transgender people," Ian Thompson of the American Civil Liberties Union told CNN. "[Rolling them back would] send a signal to insurers and providers that they do not need to cover and treat transgender people."

Since Donald Trump took office in 2017, the government has taken repeated actions against trans people's safety, dignity, and wellbeing. A month into his term, the President rolled back Obama-era directives that let public school students use bathrooms and other sex-segregated facilities that match their gender, and under his leadership the Justice Department has argued that federal protections against sex-based discrimination don't cover queer or trans people, despite decades of legal precedent that would say otherwise. There's also the trans military ban, which went into effect earlier this month, and the leaked HHS memo from last fall that proposed narrowly defining sex as binary, "biological," genital-based, and unchangeable from birth.

"To have the government take a stand in favor of discrimination is deeply upsetting," Chase Strangio, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, toldThe Hill. "If the final rule looks like the proposal we are anticipating, we and our partners will file suit as soon as possible... We can expect many legal challenges to any final rule."

RELATED | How Medical Institutions Drive Trans Women Underground

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