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In 2021 so far, over 75 anti-trangender bills have been introduced across the country. These bills target transgender individuals and strip them of their constituitional rights. 

On June 1st, the first day of Pride Month, Florida Governer Ron DeSantis signed an anti-trans bill that banned transgender girls and women from participating in women’s sports. Another law in Montana banned birth certificates that align with one’s gender. Arkansas passed a broad medical bill that targets trans individuals and allows medical providers to turn them away. Other bills across the country restrict transgender rights to use public restrooms and allow businesses to turn away transgender customers. 

The spike in anti-transgender legislation has caused real harm to the transgender community by risking their access to basic human rights and causing them to face more discrimination in their daily lives.

In light of these transphobic attacks, the ACLU has been taking up cases all across the country to fight for transgender rights. Recently, they have been successful in blocking the anti-trans care Arkansas law and a law that banned transgender youths from playing sports in West Virginia. Since the beginning of 2021, they have taken up at least 18 other cases that involve anti-transgender legislation. Although the ACLU and others are doing fantastic work to ensure the rights of the trans community are not taken away, it does not change the fact that these anti-transgender bills cause real harm. They infringe on the rights of transgender individuals, create ongoing stigmatization and discrimination, and are used as an avenue to spread harmful falsehoods about transgender experiences. 

Despite these attacks, we have taken many positive steps in recent years to protect the rights of transgender individuals. For example, under the Affordable Care Act health and insurance providers cannot discriminate against individuals who are transgender. 

Here in New Hampshire, comprehensive legislation was signed into law in 2018 to protect transgender people from discrimination. Still, some extreme anti-trans New Hampshire lawmakers continue to try to push legislation that would roll back transgender rights

Even with these legislative protections, transgender individuals still face discrimination in health care. Due to increased job loss among the trans community, many transgender individuals are left uninsured. For those individuals who are insured, many public and private insurance plans do not cover medically necessary care, and discrimination remains present in the practices of health care facilities and providers. The rise in anti-trans legislation only amplifies the struggles already faced by transgender individuals. 

That’s why Planned Parenthood’s work is so important. Planned Parenthood provides trans-inclusive healthcare, including gender-affirming hormone therapy, to those who need it. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England also has a special fund, their Trans Care Fund, which financially supports patients seeking transgender care at local Planned Parenthood health centers, no matter their ability to pay. It is important to recognize the discrimination placed on the transgender community and provide access to resources that would otherwise be difficult to receive due to recent anti-transgender legislation. Everyone should have access to reproductive health care and basic human rights, no matter what.