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Discrimination under this rule will perpetuate barriers to health care, both inside and outside the doctor's office

WASHINGTON — Today, amid a global pandemic, and on the fourth anniversary of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, the Trump administration released a final rule intended to interpret the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) non-discrimination provision (Section 1557) in a way that scales back protections for transgender people, immigrants, and people who have had abortions — only compounding discrimination for those living at the intersections of these identities.

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

“Regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity, where you’re from, the language you speak, or whether you’ve had an abortion — every person deserves to access health care free from judgment and discrimination. But it seems that neither a global pandemic, nor national uprisings over racist violence, nor Pride month will stop the Trump administration from doing everything in its power to discriminate, divide, and reduce access to health care. This cruel and discriminatory rule will only make it harder for transgender people, immigrants, and people seeking sexual and reproductive services to get care, and could even prevent people from getting the care they need entirely. One in three transgender people have already faced discrimination with a health care provider, a rate even higher for people of color. We must confront and reduce the continued discrimination and systemic racism, transphobia, and homophobia that are so deeply rooted in our health care system. As we face the dual public health crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism and violence, Planned Parenthood will continue fighting to break down the barriers keeping people from getting the health care they need."

Section 1557, the Health Care Rights Law, was a historic step toward achieving health equity for communities nationwide that have historically faced discrimination in access to health care services and coverage. Today’s rule strips that promise for people who already face discrimination in health care, including women, LGBTQ+ people, people who have had or will have abortions, those whose primary language is not English, and those at the intersections of these identities.

The legal protections and coverage gained from the ACA have played a critical role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it protects people who get the virus from losing health coverage, facing higher premiums, or paying higher out-of-pocket costs. The ACA has substantially reduced the rate of uninsured in communities of color, important now more than ever as COVID-19 is disproportionately upending the health and economic stability of the Black and Latinx communities.

Despite that, the Trump administration has advanced policy after policy that has damaged the nation’s public health infrastructure and undermined health care rights and access. The administration has:

  • Refused to allow people to sign up for ACA coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic;

  • Supported a lawsuit that would repeal the ACA entirely, despite the global pandemic;

  • Pushed for Medicaid work requirements, proven to kick tens of thousands of people off their health care. Women, particularly women of color, are significantly more likely to lose coverage as a result of these work requirements;

  • Issued and continued to defend up to the Supreme Court rules that would allow employers to deny birth control coverage to their employees;

  • Tried to block people from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers;

  • Finalized a rule that removes protections for sexual assault survivors on campus;

  • Deployed military troops in Washington, D.C., and around the country, and encouraged violence against protesters. 

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young 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. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier livesa