A newly proposed rule by the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would eliminate “gender identity” as a factor in health care and focus strictly on characteristics of sex at birth.
The rule revises the broadened definition of gender that was created under the Obama administration, and civil rights groups suggest that the change could be used to deny transgender people health care, per The New York Times.
“It’s about the right of every American to be treated with dignity when they walk into an emergency room, meet a new doctor, or find the right insurance plan,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“If permitted, this rule will promote ignorance and hate that no American should have to face while seeking care.”
But HHS director of the Office for Civil Rights Roger Severino claims that the revision brings the Obama-era rule closer to what lawmakers were originally trying to accomplish, suggesting that the broadening was not in line with the original goal.
“When Congress prohibited sex discrimination, it did so according to the plain meaning of the term, and we are making our regulations conform.”
The move is one of the many under the Trump administration that appears to be pushing back against transgender rights. On Wednesday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a new rule that would give federally funded shelters the power to refuse transgender people for religious reasons, per The Washington Post.
The Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule Friday that would roll back an Obamacare regulation that prohibits discrimination against patients who are transgender or have previously undergone an abortion. https://t.co/rk1xGWdRpy
— CNN (@CNN) May 24, 2019
Back in April, Trump’s controversial transgender military ban went into effect. As The Inquisitr reported, it prohibits transgender troops from serving in the United States military and also prevents the use of Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) resources for sex reassignment surgeries.
Severino and his department previously proposed a memo to push for a legal definition of sex in the Title IX civil rights law, which is in place to prevent gender discrimination in education programs that receive funding from the federal government. The push was criticized for attempting to push for a narrow definition of gender as a biological and unchangeable condition and roll back transgender protections.
“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth” the memo read and suggested that the sex listed on an individual’s birth certificate should be used to define a person’s gender unless genetic evidence proves otherwise.