The tireless team at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) took on the responsibility to file a “friend-of-the-court” brief in support of the healthcare providers in Lousiana. NCLR’s brief before the high court was submitted to share the unique perspective of LGBTQ+ organizations in relation to the Louisiana law and its effects.
In addition to other important points, NCLR argues that closing of abortion clinics in the state of Louisiana will restrict access to healthcare, and that the LGBTQ+ community is already disproportionately impacted in this aspect of society. In summary, the brief states that “[m]embers of the LGBTQ+ community have historically struggled to access basic health care because of stigma arising from social and political beliefs about sex, gender roles, and childbearing. This stigma has led the LGBTQ+ population to experience significant health disparities compared to other populations.“ In one example, NCLR points to “…the National Center for Transgender Equality’s 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey [which] indicate[s] that 23% of respondents did not see a provider for needed health care because of fears of mistreatment or discrimination. The survey found that in Louisiana, 27% avoided seeking medical care due to fears of mistreatment, and 35% did not see a doctor when needed because they could not afford it.” NCLR similarly demonstrates that LGBTQ+ youth are particularly at risk and need more healthcare provider option, not less.
Access to non-judgmental healthcare and the reproductive rights of all women are a critical component of living a full and equal life for LGBTQ+ citizens. With that in mind, National Equality Action Team (NEAT) is proud to stand with NCLR and be included as a supporting organization of the amicus curiae brief.