BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Five states and two Healthcare groups are suing the federal government over non discrimination rules that would prevent doctors from refusing to care for transgender patients. It would require doctors to perform gender reassignment procedures regardless of their beliefs.
A transgender woman from Western New York says the surgery changed her life.
“I suppose every state has the right to choose their freedoms but nonetheless being transgender the issue of having surgeries covered through medical insurance, it really honestly is a life saving surgery,” said Fran Bailey of Buffalo
Fran Bailey says she began transitioning about 10 years ago, but didn’t feel whole as a person until she had a gender affirming surgery in Buffalo within the past year.
“It saved my life I had attempted suicide, I had gone through some very dark days. I didn’t want to live anymore because I just didn’t feel right within myself. our suicide rates are very high in the trans community,” said Bailey.
Bailey says she struggled with her identity for over 30 years before getting to the point she’s at now. She says the surgery helps people like herself who’ve struggled with depression over their gender, and gives them a new life.
“All these things have been covered for me through my medical insurance because of changes in New York state’s regulations,” said Bailey.
She says restricting access would put many in the trans community at a disadvantage.
“Ultimately it comes down to what can I do to keep myself healthy. for me it was having my gender affirming surgery,” said Bailey.
The non-discrimination health care rules apply to medical institutions that receive federal money. Advocates say the rules are necessary to make sure transgender patients across the country have access to basic health care.