There is no trans health care without reproductive rights

Since the U.S. Supreme Court effectively overturned the landmark 1973 abortion rights case Roe vs. Wade on June 24, activists cried out in fury at a monumental loss of reproductive rights. Yet their messages and calls to action too often fail to include trans people, a huge disappointment for a community that needs reproductive health care as much as any other.

From repression gender neutral abortion language to accusations of misogyny when trans people demand to be included in conversations about care, the struggle reflects how deeply entrenched medical transphobia and trans-exclusive reproductive activism run in our country. And because battles for reproductive rights and transgender health care are often portrayed as parallel but separate strugglestrans abortion seekers are often left behind.

“It feels like a failure to recognize that trans people need access to health care outside of transition-related care,” Oliver Hall, director of trans health at Kentucky Health Justice Networkrecount Their. “Trans people give birth, trans people get abortions, and trans people need access to contraception.”

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade triggered abortion bans in 13 states that have already gone into effect or will in the weeks following the decision. Ten other states have pre-deer abortion bans that will come into effect now that the decision is in. This makes all abortion seekers — especially those from exploited communities, like trans people and people of color — more vulnerable in nearly half the country.

It is no coincidence that legislators in many of these trigger law states are simultaneously moving to ban HRT treatments and surgeries for trans people, further highlighting that struggles for access to abortion and trans health care are in full swing. ultimately rooted in the right to bodily autonomy.

“They’re fundamentally linked, and you can’t think of one without thinking of the other,” said Dr. Quinn Jackson, a family physician and associate with Physicians for Reproductive Healthrecount Their. “Anti-abortion legislation and anti-trans legislation are both rooted in this fundamentalist, white supremacist value system that really has no place in medicine.”

Trans people already faced barriers to care. A publication-Roe vs. Wade the landscape will only exacerbate them

Prior to this most recent attack on reproductive rights, trans people were already struggling to access safe abortions and reproductive health care due to structural oppression and interpersonal discrimination. “Trans people are more likely to live below the poverty line, more likely to lack access to transportation, and are more likely to face social isolation, so in the case of an outright ban, practical hurdles like traveling to another state are even more difficult, says Hall Their.

“It’s really compounded by the discrimination that trans people face in healthcare,” Jackson says. Trans people seeking care have long reported that they face transphobia in healthcare settings, ranging from dead names and gender errors to physical assaults and general denial of care. 28% of respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey reported delaying care because they feared abuse. “It’s really scary for trans people to try to access health care because we never know if we’re going to be treated terribly,” Jackson said. Their. This lack of accessible cross-competent care has disastrous consequences.

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