Today, in a federal court in Texas, four states filed suit against the current Presidential administration regarding a rule change meant to improve health equity under the Affordable Care Act. The rule extended protections against discrimination in healthcare to people on the basis of sex, including based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping. Previously the protections were only extended based on race, color, national origin, disability, and age. These new protections were meant to protect, at least in part, trans people from discrimination in healthcare. The rule also expressly restricts discrimination against trans people by those participating in Medicaid and health plans provided through the exchange.
Texas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Nebraska filed suit to stop this rule, which they characterize as a redefinition of sex, because of claims that this rule will compel healthcare providers to provide care that goes against their religious beliefs.
Until now, abortion is the only procedure that has ever been banned from Medicaid. And the lawsuit filed today mentions abortion and/or funding restrictions 55 times. They are using the existence of abortion funding bans to justify dismantling protections for trans people because abortion funding restrictions have already allowed for barriers to healthcare access for a group of people on the basis of some people's beliefs. When we talk about the intersections of gender justice for trans people and abortion funding and reproductive justice, this is exactly what we're talking about.
TEA Fund is in solidarity with all people who experience diminished access to bodily autonomy at the hands of the our government. When one person's access to healthcare is denied because of their identity, it is an injustice to us all. True gender justice means protections for trans people and full access to healthcare; the same is true for the ability of people who can become pregnant being able to access a full range of reproductive options that includes abortion. These issues are inseparable; we can see that our opposition sees discrimination against pregnant people as a justification for discrimination against trans people. And these issues are inseparable for us as well, because we cannot consider justice won until there is healthcare coverage for all that includes care that supports everyone's gender identity as well as access to abortion.
Thank you to our friends at Trans Pride Initiative in Dallas for bringing this to our attention.
Our state continues to be a difficult place for trans and queer people, people of color, and anyone who might become pregnant while living in Texas. We believe in the right of all people to control their own bodies. We will continue in this work alongside our partners from all social justice movements until true freedom is won.
Texas Equal Access Fund