While the fallout of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is still being felt around the country after it overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion, its impacts on the country’s LGBTQ population are still being studied. In the case of health care, however, some of its effects are already being identified….
“Policies that restrict abortion care are often accompanied by decreased access to other reproductive health services, including contraception, and worsened health outcomes for both women and children,” noted the Williams Institute, an LGBTQ think tank based at UCLA School if Law, in its introduction to a recent brief titled “The Implications of Dobbs on Reproductive Health Care Access for LGBTQ People Who Can Get Pregnant.” The study was done in cooperation with the Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy, also at UCLA School of Law.
Brief authors Cathren Cohen, a staff attorney; Bianca D.M. Wilson, senior scholar of public policy; and research director Kerith J. Conron point out that potentially worsening restrictions on LBT access to reproductive care fall on top of already dismal health care statistics for LBT persons.
“Most conversations and media attention about the impact of Dobbs have focused on harms to the health and well-being of cisgender heterosexual women,” they noted. “However, restricting abortion access will also impact members of the LGBTQ community. It is essential to consider the unique and significant impacts on LGBTQ people who can get pregnant (including LBQ cisgender women and transgender people who can become pregnant) in discussions about the harm caused by the rollback of abortion and sexual and reproductive health care access across the country.”
Nearly one in six LQB cisgender women lack access to health insurance — 14.3% — compared to cisgender heterosexual women at 10%, for example. Furthermore, more LQB cisgender women rely on Medicaid than do their straight counterparts — 13.3% versus 10.7% — and twice as many LGB cisgender women than straight cisgender women report not having a regular health care provider, or 29.3% versus 15.7%, according to the Williams Institute report. The figures are based on data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the brief noted.
Adding to inequities like these are the growing numbers of laws aimed directly at transgender people, particularly in health care. From laws restricting gender-affirming care for kids to additional laws threatening legal repercussions for parents or doctors of trans kids who permit or perform that care, the recent Dobbs decision seems to be emboldening those who are advocating for these laws. State governments are pressuring hospitals and clinics that provide gender-affirming care to close or cease treatments for trans people, the Washington Post recently reported….
The above comes from an Oct. 18 posting in the Bay Area Reporter.