American College of Nurse-Midwives Strongly Opposes Reversal of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Protections in Health Care
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2020
Contact: [email protected]
The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) strongly opposes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent decision to finalize a rule removing non-discrimination protections established under the Affordable Care Act for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care providers and health insurance coverage. ACNM champions access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services for every person, and as midwives we believe everyone has the right to make choices that meet their individual needs. Every person has the right to safe, supportive, and affirming health care in which providers demonstrate respect for human dignity.
“We are gravely disappointed with HHS’ careless decision to move forward with scaling back important gains made for LGBTQ people,” stated ACNM President Cathy Collins-Fulea, DNP, CNM, FACNM. “ACNM’s Philosophy of Care states that all people have a right to health care that is equitable, ethical, and accessible and that upholds human dignity and diversity among groups. This applies to people of every gender identity and sexual orientation. This rule reverses critical protections and puts countless people at risk of continued harm from inadequate and discriminatory health care and will further exacerbate access to care issues and disproportionate disparities experienced by many marginalized communities during a global pandemic. ACNM also recognizes that announcing this discriminatory decision during Pride Month and on the anniversary of the 2016 killings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and amid the Black Lives Matter movement, a global pandemic, and persistent violence against LGBTQ people, especially transgender people of color, furthers the harm of this hateful decision.”
Effective August 2020, the final rule will limit the scope of civil rights protections established under the Health Care Rights Law (Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act) that brought LGBTQ people under the umbrella that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, disability, age, and sex in any health program or activity receiving federal assistance, any program or activity administered by a federal agency, and the health insurance marketplaces. The ruling applies both to health insurers as well as to providers such as hospitals, pharmacies, midwives, nurse practitioners, physicians, and others.
With nearly 7,000 members, the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional organization that represents the 12,000+ certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. ACNM promotes excellence in midwifery education, clinical practice, and research. With roots dating to 1929, our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM provides research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, establishes education and clinical practice standards, and creates liaisons with state and federal agencies and members of Congress to increase the visibility and recognition of midwifery-led care.