The Trump administration is hellbent on taking away anti-discrimination protections — and it’s proposed yet another cruel rule to do so.
The Trump-Pence administration is yet again trying to encourage blatant discrimination against LGBTQ people, women, and religious minorities. A new proposal would allow the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grantees — organizations that receive taxpayer dollars from HHS — to refuse to provide critical social services or care to people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. It’s a sweeping, needlessly cruel proposal that would impact everything from the ability to access affordable birth control through Title X, to HIV and STI prevention programs, to youth homelessness services, to foster care placement and adoption.
What Would This Proposed Rule Do?
The Trump-Pence administration’s proposed rule would undo an Obama administration rule that prohibits HHS grantees from discriminating against a person on the basis of age, disability, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
In other words, the administration wants to give federally-funded organizations a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people and other marginalized populations — and still keep their federal funding.
Who Would This Proposed Rule Affect?
What’s scary about this proposed rule is that, if enacted, this rule could apply to ALL HHS grant programs. We could see widespread discrimination in programs like Title X, our national program for affordable birth control, as well as programs that address refugee resettlement, youth homelessness, foster care, and so much more.
This rule would disproportionately affect LGBTQ folks, women, and religious minorities — communities whose care is often compromised by racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ableism, and other systemic barriers. The rule would throw up yet another barrier between people and the health care they need, by allowing federally-funded programs to turn away the very communities they are designed to serve.
What’s the Trump Administration’s Endgame?
This latest proposal is just one of Trump’s many, many attempts to ensure LGBTQ people and other marginalized people can’t get the health care or social services they need. Here’s just a glimpse of actions the Trump administration has taken to encourage discrimination in health care:
Earlier this year, the administration finalized a rule to allow health care workers’ personal beliefs to dictate patient care. Thankfully, this rule was struck down in federal court earlier in November.
In May, the administration proposed rolling back non-discrimination protections in federal health care programs, the result of which could put health care for trans people in jeopardy.
In 2018, HHS created a new office designed to protect providers who deny health care based on their personal beliefs.