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WASHINGTON —  Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Office for Civil Rights will  interpret and enforce Section 1557’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity. This announcement comes after the Trump administration weakened protections against discrimination in health care for the LGBTQ+ community. Today's move will ensure HHS’s interpretation of the law protects all people’s access to the health care they need to control their health and their futures. 

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

Every person deserves to access health care free from judgment and discrimination. We know nearly one in three transgender people have faced discrimination with a health care provider. This rate is even higher for Black transgender people and other transgender people of color. We thank Secretary Becerra and the Biden-Harris administration for taking this critical step to better ensure health care access for all. However, the work cannot and should not stop here. Planned Parenthood is ready to continue working with the administration on next steps to repeal the harmful Trump-era rule and  ensure all people can access the health care they need.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act was a historic step toward health equity for communities  that have historically faced discrimination in access to health care services and coverage. The rule prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and  disability in covered health programs or activities. Today’s action recognizes the precedent set by the Supreme Court in Bostock v. Clayton County, but more work is needed to undo the harmful attacks from the Trump administration. 

Today’s announcement comes as state legislatures across the country continue to perpetuate transphobia by attacking the rights of trans youth. Federal action to better protect the health and rights of trans people cannot come swiftly enough.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.