The ACLU of Indiana is urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) not to roll back health care protections for transgender people.

The Trump Administration will stop at nothing to roll back progress towards equality – especially when it comes to the rights of transgender people and those seeking reproductive care. The proposed changes to the Health Care Rights Law, would have devastating health consequences for trans people, those seeking reproductive health care including abortion, people of color, people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency and others in Indiana and across the Nation.

At the ACLU of Indiana, we have a long history of being Indiana’s primary legal defender of the health care rights of Hoosier women, as well as a leading voice in advancing and protecting the rights of all LGBTQ people from religious discrimination.

The administration wants to take away protections against these types of discrimination, an action that will lead to devastating health consequences. The Department fails to even consider the impact that the proposed rule would have on individuals who are protected under the current rule.  According to a recent study by the Williams Institute, 27,600 transgender people currently live in Indiana. Transgender and non-binary people belong in Indiana and we will fight any attempts to erase trans people from our laws.

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. And on October 8, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case involving Aimee Stephens who was fired because she is transgender. But 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.

Case after case has confirmed that transgender people are protected. In Indiana, for example, the Southern District Court recently ruled that discrimination against our client, J.A.W., who is a trans student, was in fact a form of sex discrimination and that federal nondiscrimination law protects him from discrimination based on his gender identity.

Contrary to earlier decisions, the proposed rule would allow religiously affiliated healthcare providers to discriminate based on sex and to refuse access to necessary medical care. In the U.S., religiously affiliated healthcare providers make up a significant percentage of the healthcare facilities. Indiana has an especially high rate, with 24.4% of acute care beds provided by Catholic healthcare providers. In some Hoosier communities, Catholic facilities are the only available hospitals.

Despite these attacks by the Trump Administration we will continue to fight to ensure equal access to health care and coverage, free from discriminatory treatment or denials. Seven in ten people, including a majority of Hoosiers, support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. We must demand that this administration stop attacking trans people.

Please join the tens of thousands of people telling HHS to abandon the proposed rule, and to keep the current Health Care Rights Law regulations in place.

You can submit a comment opposing this roll back of health care protections through August 13.

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