One of the arguments you often hear about the drawbacks of impeaching Donald Trump for his many viscerally stupid and obvious crimes is that Vice President Mike Pence would be even worse, particularly with regards to LGBTQ rights and choice. As it stands, however, the Trump administration is already doing a real bang-up job on both fronts.
On Tuesday, the Hill reported on a proposed rule coming from the Department of Health and Human Services which “would make it easier for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to deny care or coverage to transgender patients, as well as women who have had abortions.” The administration reportedly telegraphed in a recent court filing that they were going to be publishing the rule soon, and that the new rule could “weaken or eliminate” a provision in Obamacare preventing providers and insurers from denying care to trans patients.
Once the rule is published, it’ll be just the latest in a long line of attacks on trans people by Trump’s federal government over the past few years. In March, the Defense Department approved a policy to ban most trans people from serving in the military, which has already caused at least one student to lose his college scholarship. Soon after Trump took office, both the Education and the Justice Department rescinded an Obama-era federal guidance to schools ensuring the right of students to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.
Earlier this month, DeVos was reminded of the consequences of that choice during a House hearing. She was unashamed.
LGBTQ advocates promised to fight any new rule in court.
“If the final rule looks like the proposal we are anticipating, we and our partners will file suit as soon as possible,” ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio told the Hill. “We can expect many legal challenges to any final rule.”
The attacks on trans people likely aren’t going to stop anytime soon. This week, the Supreme Court—which now boasts two members who were nominated by Trump—said it would take up the question of whether longstanding civil rights protections against job discrimination apply to LGBTQ workers as well.