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American Nurses Association Opposes Restrictions on Transgender Healthcare and Criminalizing Gender-Affirming Care

Keziah Proctor,
Shannon McClendon,

SILVER SPRING, MD -  The American Nurses Association strongly opposes any legislation or policy action that places restrictions on transgender health care and that criminalizes gender-affirming care. Due to recent state legislative efforts, transgender and gender-diverse youth and their parents or guardians who choose to access gender-affirming care may come under legal assault in many states.  Health care professionals, including nurses and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who provide gender-affirming care, may also be subject to judicial process or other legal action. These restrictive laws interfere with the trust and confidentiality between patients, parents or guardians, and clinicians in the delivery of evidence-based care. The legislative intent and medical claims behind these laws are not grounded in reputable science and conflict with the nurse’s obligation to promote, advocate, and protect the rights, health, and safety of patients. 

ANA’s Position Statement Nursing Advocacy for LGBTQ+ Populations (2018) underlines the mandate that nurses “must deliver culturally congruent care and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ+) populations.” Nurses must always stress human rights protection with particular attention to preserving the human rights of vulnerable populations including transgender and gender-diverse youth.  Nurses provide gender-affirming care, including social, medical, surgical, and legal affirmation interventions to transgender and gender-diverse individuals across varied settings and in collaboration with other health care professionals. Transgender and gender-diverse individuals report improved health and mental wellbeing after receiving gender-affirming care. To learn more about gender-affirming care, please see the Texas Nurses Association Position Statement on Gender-Affirming Care


About the American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.2 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit

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