This year the Black Lives Matter movement marked the beginning of Pride Month. In the place of pride parades, people marched to raise awareness and pressure governments to take action against police brutality. The Black Trans Lives Matter movement also gained momentum due to the recent increase in violence against them. While communities came together to support BLM and LGBTQ+ marches, the Trump administration chose this time to work against them.
On the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, the Trump administration ruled that sexual identity could lead to the refusal treatment of transgender patients. The Obama administration had solved this problem by changing the definition of gender to include the sense of gender identity. This has now been reversed to only include the biological meaning of the word ‘sex.’ This allows healthcare officials and insurance providers to refuse treatment to transgender individuals if they do not conform to this definition. Trans individuals may be denied health care, which puts them in a highly vulnerable position, especially during a current ongoing pandemic. This step is not only dangerous, but it also goes against their civil rights.
Since 2019, the Trump administration has passed several laws guarding doctors’ right to refuse treatment. The previous change in policy allowed doctors to refuse treatment if it did not align with their religious beliefs. The American Medical Association has always stressed that refusal of treatment should not put unduly pressure on the patients. By broadening the avenues through which doctors can refuse treatment puts a significant amount of pressure on patients to find replacements. Being amid a global pandemic further exacerbates this issue as there is already a shortage of doctors.
Medical care in the eyes of the Trump administration is a privilege, not a human right. This notion has been deadly due to the global health crisis and has led to the US having the most cases. To make matters worse, taking away the civil rights of trans individuals sends a clear message that Trump does not care to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community.
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