Vice News reports that transgender individuals, awaiting “gender reassignment” surgeries, are teetering on the precipice of outrage after discovering that doctors and hospitals consider such surgeries “non-essential” and will be postponing them indefinitely in order to better prepare for a possible onslaught of coronavirus patients needing hospital beds and critical care.
Across the country, hospitals have cut down dramatically on the number of scheduled “non-essential” surgical procedures, urging patients to reschedule elective surgeries, procedures that can be delayed, and even dental procedures, so that hospitals can keep beds free and preserve equipment, should they be hit with a wave of patients infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The Centers for Medical and Medicaid Services, in partnership with the White House, has asked that such procedures be delayed during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Gender reassignment” surgeries are considered elective surgeries and, because a transgender individual’s immediate health is not in danger if such procedures are slightly delayed, they are among the “non-essential” procedures being rescheduled.
But leftists aren’t happy about it.
“This underscores a common experience amongst trans people seeking medical care or surgery: Research has suggested that gender-affirming surgery, in particular, has a notable and long-term impact on mental health, but far too often, trans people already wait far longer than is safe or healthy for this care,” VICE reports. “Further delays can be dangerous and even life-threatening.”
This is the third time it’s been postponed. It’s getting more and more heartbreaking to keep getting so close to something that will make me feel better and feel like I’m in the right body for once,” one transgender individual told the outlet. “Every time I feel like I’ve gotten close, something has to come along to take it away.”
Such delays are likely not as life-threatening as complications from coronavirus, however. And certainly, planning such procedures now could put transgender individuals at risk of contracting coronavirus, especially if they are required to share hospital wards with infected patients. Since coronavirus seems to have an outsized impact on those with underlying conditions or those in a fragile medical state, that could make transgender individuals recovering from surgery particularly susceptible to complicated versions of the disease.
VICE reports that transgender individuals who are seeking gender reassignment surgery are reporting levels of “stress” and “anxiety,” however.
In the American healthcare systems’ quest to ready itself for an onslaught of coronavirus victims, other elective procedures are also on the chopping block, In Ohio, the governor has called time on abortion services, asking Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to cease conducting in-office procedures and donate personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves, to health care providers on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.
The decision left the National Abortion Federation seeing red.
“Abortion is provided for almost one in five pregnancies in the United States, as part of the continuum of pregnancy care,” they said in a statement. “It is an essential health service. An individual and family decide to end a pregnancy for a complex constellation of reasons that include the impact of pregnancy and birth on their health, ability to work, and strained economic circumstances. These are conditions that do not go away—and are likely heightened—in pandemic conditions. Denying or deferring abortion care places an immediate burden on patients, their families, and the health system, and can have profound and lasting consequences.”
Ohio’s governor was unmoved.