It’s been a bit more than a month since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the constitutional right to an abortion. Without Roe, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion, creating abortion deserts throughout the country. In the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s home state of Wisconsin, clinics stopped providing abortion care because a pre-Civil War law makes performing an abortion a criminal act. This is just the beginning, however.
In the high court’s decision, Justice Clarence Thomas opined that the court should also consider repealing rights to contraception access and same-sex marriage. This is not only an attack on bodily autonomy, but also a direct attack on LGBTQ+ rights.
To be clear, women are not the only people who get abortions. Transgender men, nonbinary people and gender-nonconforming folks also get abortions. The repeal of Roe further marginalizes the existing barriers that LGBTQ+ people face when seeking inclusive reproductive health care. Should contraception access also be reversed, LGBTQ+ people will not only be deprived of hormonal birth control and IUDs for pregnancy prevention, but also as a tool for gender-affirming care. In fact, states like Alabama and Texas have already enacted legislation to ban certain types of gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called upon medical professionals to report parents for child abuse if they help their child with transgender health care. This is counter to the experts and medical professionals who declare that gender-affirming care is a component of providing comprehensive health care.
And refusing gender-affirming services is just one component of Christian nationalist attacks on LGBTQ+ communities, particularly for LGBTQ youth. For example, Christian extremists promote abstinence-only, heteronormative education. As such, only 13 states require that sex education be medically accurate. An additional four states require only negative information to be provided on homosexuality and/or positive emphasis on heterosexuality.
Denying essential health care services and information about sexuality only compounds the fact that the majority of LGBTQ+ people live in states without insurance protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity. That means that LGBTQ+ people often find that their preferred provider is not covered by their health insurance.
The reversal of Roe is a health care crisis for all people, including the LGBTQ+ community. None of this is based in science, logic or reason. Rather, the further marginalization of LGBTQ+ people is a direct result of Christian nationalism ideology being imposed on a secular nation. As freethinkers, we must stand up for secular values because they are fundamental to human rights.