Washington, D.C. – The Trump administration’s plan to let health workers refuse to treat patients based on gender identity and other factors will result in blatant discrimination that prevents LGBTQ people from getting the care they need, new data from the Center for American Progress shows.
The Department of Health and Human Services reportedly is planning a new policy that would let medical workers refuse to perform abortions, treat transgender patients in transition, or provide other services if they claim a moral or religious objection.
Changing this policy will only make it tougher for LGBTQ people to obtain equal access to health care and allow health care providers to discriminate against this historically marginalized community.
“Using the powers of the Office of Civil Rights to enable discrimination instead of stop it is the latest in the harms the Trump administration has enacted on this community,” said Shabab Ahmed Mirza, a co-author of the report.
“These data show the breadth of the discrimination that LGBTQ people, and especially transgender people, experience in health care settings,” Mirza said. “From avoiding doctor’s offices out of fear of discrimination, to hearing demeaning language, to being denied care outright, it is no wonder that LGBTQ people report poorer health than their peers.
Among transgender people, 29 percent of those surveyed said a doctor or health care provider refused to see them because of their gender identity, according to the CAP survey. And 12 percent of transgender respondents said a health care provider refused to give them care related to gender transition.
Survey data also shows that discrimination discourages LGBTQ people from seeking health care in the first place, and makes it tougher to find alternative providers:
- 41 percent of nonmetro LGBTQ people said it would be “very difficult” or “not possible” to find the same type of service at a different hospital
- 17 percent of nonmetro LGBTQ people said it would be “very difficult” or “not possible” to find the same type of service at a different pharmacy.
Read the report: “Discrimination Prevents LGBTQ People from Accessing Health Care,” by Shabab Ahmed Mirza and Caitlin Rooney.
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