In a move that has predictably set the right-wing blogosphere ablaze, Elizabeth Warren has spoken out in support of trans people’s access to gender-affirming health care.
“Everyone should be able to access high-quality, affordable, gender-affirming health care,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “But the Trump administration is trying to roll back important protections for trans Americans.”
The Massachusetts senator, who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election, closed her tweet with a call to action, asking her Twitter followers to “help fight back by leaving a comment [on Protect Trans Health’s website].” Protect Trans Health is an advocacy platform created by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Transgender Law Center that, until midnight of last night, had been soliciting trans people’s testimonials of experiences with discrimination in health care to send to the Department of Health and Human Services.
This isn’t the first time that the candidate has addressed trans people’s access to health care, though it reflects a very different stance than her earliest efforts. Back in 2012 when she was running to unseat Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Warren said that state-funded gender-affirming surgeries for incarcerated trans people wasn’t “a good use of taxpayers’ dollars.” She has since reversed that position, coming out in favor of trans inmates receiving gender-affirming surgery earlier this year.
Seven years later, the Senator has consistently spoken out against discrimination against trans people on the 2020 campaign trail, though this might be the first time she has explicitly come out against discrimination against trans people in health care.
While Warren’s general pro-trans sentiment seems pretty apparent, it’s unclear what she means by “affordable, gender-affirming health care” exactly. For instance, does it include both hormones and surgery — and which surgeries, at that? What about ensuring that doctors don’t misgender you or that transgender people, who disproprtionately live in poverty, even have the ability to get to a doctor?
Out reached out to Warren’s press office for clarification. We’ll update the story if we hear back.