ACLU Statement on House Amendment to Prohibit Transgender Care for Military Members and Their Families

July 13, 2017 10:00 am

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives will consider an amendment today to the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense policy bill, that prohibits transgender military service members and their families from receiving appropriate medical care related to their transition. The amendment was proposed by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).

Ian Thompson, legislative representative for the American Civil Liberties Union, issued the following statement:

“The Hartzler Amendment is specifically designed to discriminate against transgender members of the Armed Forces and their families. By barring them from receiving medically necessary health care, this amendment would put the health of members of our military and their families at risk by undermining the ability of military doctors to provide care for their patients.

“Leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association, agree that transition-related care is safe, effective, and medically necessary. If a doctor determines that transition-related care is appropriate, there is no reason why Congress should interfere and deny health care to certain members of the armed forces.

“All members of our military willingly put their lives on the line in defense of our freedoms. The least that Congress can do is ensure that their health care needs are not ignored. Congress should reject this unconstitutional amendment and protect the rights and dignity of transgender military service members and their families.”

The ACLU is sending a letter to the House this morning urging them to vote against the Hartzler Amendment.

The letter is available here:

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