Letter urges governors and legislative leaders to veto anti-transgender legislation prohibiting gender affirming care including procedural dermatology
ROLLING MEADOWS, ILL., APRIL 14, 2021 – The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) has sent a letter to all 50 state governors along with legislative leaders, alerting them to the increase in anti-transgender legislation that is proliferating in state legislatures across the country. After Arkansas became the first state to ban gender affirming care for transgender youth, ASDSA felt the need to voice its concern, as procedural dermatology is an important aspect of gender affirmation treatment.
Although some of the bills moving through state legislatures seek to protect the transgender community, many of them are similar to the new law in Arkansas. “This type of legislation takes away physician and patient autonomy to choose treatment options, emboldens other states to pass similar laws and does permanent damage to the gender diverse population since we know lack of access to quality health care is directly linked to the high rate of suicide in this population,” said ASDSA President Mathew Avram, MD, JD.
Mona Gohara, MD, chair of the ASDS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Work Group, echoed these concerns, stating “It is the opinion of organized medicine that denying gender affirming care to transgender people can cause devastating, life-changing outcomes and mental health crises, which could result in suicide. Governors must do everything they can to protect their transgender citizens, which includes vetoing any of these dangerous and medically unfounded bills that come across their desk.”
In November 2020, the ASDS / ASDSA Board of Directors approved the organization’s DEI position statement, which includes pledging to support policies that ensure nondiscrimination and are sensitive to the health and well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) / Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) individuals and enhance the health of LGBTQ / SGM people.
ASDSA will continue to monitor state legislation that impacts the health of the LGBTQ / SGM population and how dermatologic surgeons and their patients may be impacted. Visit asds.net/diversity to learn more about ASDS / ASDSA’s diversity initiatives.
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With a membership of 6,400+ physicians, ASDSA is a 501(c) (6) association, dedicated to education and advocacy on behalf of dermatologic surgeons and their patients. For more information, visit http://asds.net/ASDSA
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