How the annulment of Roe v. Wade could have an impact on the transgender community

Monday night was like any other for Alexis Rangel.

“I was at home doing my best to relax and, you know, have a nice dinner,” she said.

Then news broke that a majority of Supreme Court justices were set to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion, and suddenly Rangel’s evening plans changed.

“Abortion rights and reproductive rights in this ruling are about trans rights,” she said.

Rangel is a policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) where she organizes in legislative offices at the federal and state levels to advocate for transgender rights.

“We have to recognize that this decision will have an impact on trans people,” she said. “Especially trans men and non-binary people who need access to reproductive health care and abortion in particular.”

A sense of urgency brought Rangel to the steps of the Supreme Court for a protest at midnight Monday, and she said she planned to keep the momentum going.

Activists and supporters of the LGBTQ community say any decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could have significant consequences for vulnerable groups if privacy rights such as access to contraception or gender-affirming care are threatened.

The notion of privacy “challenged”

It’s a concern President Joe Biden has repeatedly raised since Politico first published the draft advisory, saying the issue is “much bigger than abortion.” He named LGBTQ rights and birth control rights as specifically at risk.

“What are the next things that are going to be attacked? Because this MAGA mob is really the most extreme political organization that has existed in American history — in recent American history,” Biden said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, he said he believed the reasoning in the draft decision “would mean that any other decision related to the notion of privacy would be called into question”.

The leaked project refutes this idea.

“To ensure that our decision is not misunderstood or misinterpreted, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other rights,” Judge Samuel Alito wrote. “Nothing in this opinion should be taken to cast doubt on precedents that do not relate to abortion.”

Yet rights activists are unconvinced and are now motivated to take action across the country.

When states like Texas began cutting abortion access, Maryland resident Mickey Goldberg decided to change her protest strategy. She started donating more money to Planned Parenthood.

“And that helps, but it’s not enough,” she said. So she went further.

“I now donate to Texas Planned Parenthood, specifically to a fund that allows women to leave the state and get abortions when they need it,” Goldberg said.

She was among hundreds of people who demonstrated outside the Supreme Court this week, where D. Ojeda also rallied.

Ojeda is a senior national organizer with NCTE and said she felt attacks on other rights were already beginning.

D. Ojeda protesting near the Supreme Court in response to the leaked draft notice.

“The same tactics we see on attacks on abortion care, are the same tactics we see with gender-affirming care and access to gender-affirming care, the attacks are targeting our healthcare providers, then our vital autonomy of the body,” Ojeda said.

The “violence” of forced pregnancy

The NCTE is mobilizing at the local, state and federal levels, speaking to lawmakers about the impact a reversal could have for the transgender community. They are also calling on the Senate to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would expand protections for the LGBTQ community.

“Mobilization is actually working in solidarity with each other,” Ojeda said.

“There’s a level of violence that comes from forcing people to be pregnant. There’s another layer when you’re trans, you know, gender dysphoria issues.”

Cathryn Oakley, senior counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, argued that the stakes are as high as they are clear.

“The court is opening the door to things like contraception being put at risk,” Oakley said, adding that many people have had legal recognition of their constitutional rights taken away.

The Human Rights Campaign calls for advocacy at local and national levels.

“What we really need now is outrage, anger and action for those in our community who are about to see the most destructive attack on our civil rights in a generation,” he said. said Oakley. “And we must fight back by taking to the streets in protest for ourselves and the LGBTQ-plus community, and in solidarity with others who are being stripped of essential civil rights protections.”

On Tuesday, Chief Justice Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion published by Politico on Monday evening. The court is expected to render its decision later this summer.

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