Democrat AGs Say Lincoln Would Have Wanted VA To Pay For Veterans’ Transgender Surgeries
WASHINGTON - APRIL 10: Abraham Lincoln statue sits inside the rotunda of the Lincoln Memorial on April 10, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Credit: Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images.

Nineteen Democratic attorneys general said that the Department Veterans Affairs should cover costly genital surgeries for transgender-identifying veterans in part because that’s what former Republican President Abraham Lincoln would have wanted.

The Democrat officials, representing 18 states and Washington, D.C., filed an amicus brief on Wednesday in support of the Transgender American Veterans Association, which is suing the VA to cover the costs of vaginoplasty and phalloplasty surgeries.

“The mission of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is to fulfill President Abraham Lincoln’s simple promise: ‘to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors,'” the attorneys general wrote in the amicus brief, which was first reported on by The Center Square. “Taken together, the regulation and implementing directive render President Lincoln’s promise an empty one for many transgender veterans. Although the VA recognizes the existence of transgender veterans, the VA falls short of serving and caring for all veterans when it prevents transgender veterans from accessing medically necessary and potentially life-saving treatment.”

The officials said that the surgeries, which often have serious long term side-effects, were both “life-saving” and “medically necessary.” The surgeries covered would also be those that remove the breasts of women who identify as men.

“Transgender veterans with gender dysphoria are left without life-saving healthcare, and are vulnerable to physical suffering, depression, and suicidal ideation,” they wrote. “Further, the VA’s approach stands in tension with the experience of the amici States – which have found giving transgender people access to comprehensive healthcare, including medically necessary surgery – provides significant benefits at negligible costs.”


The VA currently uses taxpayer funds to pay for veterans to get cross-sex hormones, hair removal, and so-called “voice training,” according to NBC News. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough previously said that the department would start paying for genital and breast surgeries at some point, but the department hasn’t started yet.

The attorneys generals of Washington, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont all signed on to the brief.

Last year, House Republicans attempted to pass a measure that would prohibit taxpayer money from going toward paying for transgender procedures.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Democrat AGs Say Lincoln Would Have Wanted VA To Pay For Veterans’ Transgender Surgeries