From ACLU of Iowa <[email protected]>
Subject Reflecting on Iowa transgender medical care wins
Date June 8, 2023 3:04 PM
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Trans people belong – and we aren't going anywhere.

Friend –

Despite the passage of awful anti-trans laws in the Iowa Legislature recently, we are taking stock of important, historic wins in the state's transgender community's ongoing fight for equal rights to essential healthcare.

On Friday, May 12, the Iowa Supreme Court dismissed the state's appeal of our win for clients Aiden Vasquez and Mika Covington, which requires Medicaid to provide medically necessary gender-affirming care for low-income Iowans. This left intact an earlier win <[link removed]> regarding coverage for medically necessary care for transgender Iowans who rely on Medicaid for their healthcare coverage.

It's the second time we've won in challenging the discriminatory Medicaid regulation. The first time was back in 2019, in the Eerianna Good/Carol Ann Beal case, when the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously found that the regulation violated the Iowa Civil Rights Act. But the Iowa Legislature then tried to write that legal protection for transgender people on Medicaid out of the law and we had to relitigate.

In 2022 we won a unanimous victory for transgender people who get health insurance coverage through their employers. The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a decision in the case of Jesse Vroegh, a transgender man who had been kept from using the men's restrooms and locker rooms at work, and who was denied coverage for medically necessary gender-affirming surgery. It was the first such case under the Iowa Civil Rights Act brought in our state.

See our transgender litigation timeline, spanning the last seven years. <[link removed]>

We want to thank our clients in these cases and our incredible cooperating attorneys who took on these battles with us on a pro bono basis, and so many others in the community, like One Iowa, who helped secure these important wins.

They're important wins that have been many years in the making – and if we can maintain them, they will secure life-saving medical care for thousands of transgender Iowans in years to come.

And if you haven't seen it yet, check out our ongoing TV ad featuring the Christiason family of Cedar Falls. <[link removed]> It's a beautiful moment showing what happens when a family listens, learns, and helps their transgender child create a life of joy. Please note: This link will take you to a third-party website,

With appreciation,

Mark Stringer

Executive Director, ACLU of Iowa

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