TLDEF Statement on Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Issued in the Northern District of Texas

In May 2016 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued groundbreaking regulations clarifying that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits several forms of discrimination that still unfortunately plague our nation’s healthcare system.


In addition to clarifying that healthcare discrimination on the basis of race, disability and other statuses is prohibited, these regulations also advise that certain forms of sex discrimination affecting transgender people and persons who have undergone abortions also violate the Affordable Care Act.

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Saturday, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas has decided to enter a nationwide injunction enjoining the portions of Section 1557 which protect transgender people and persons who have undergone abortions. TLDEF sees this decision as being flatly contrary to law and expects it to be overturned on appeal.

The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognised that sex discrimination takes many forms, and our nation’s expansive and unyielding nondiscrimination laws necessarily reach sex discrimination whenever and wherever it strikes. Judge O’Connor’s conclusion that transgender people and persons who have had abortions are somehow excepted from protection is deeply troubling, legally specious, and morally repugnant.

TLDEF steadfastly stands with transgender Americans, reproductive rights advocates, and all others affected by Judge O’Connor’s ruling.