NHS told to give fertility treatment to people transitioning

If NHS England don’t start to offer all people the chance to freeze sperm or eggs before transitioning they’ll be taken to court by the equalities watchdog.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have written to NHS England, giving them 14 days to make changes or face legal action, the BBC reported today.

Outdated discrimination

At the moment if you undergo GRS the NHS does not always offer the chance to freeze eggs or sperm. That’s robbing trans people of the ability to have children in the future.

The watchdog says this is outdated discrimination, the BBC reports, because patients undergoing other treatments which can lead to infertility are routinely given the option.

Equality “guaranteed”

If you are anywhere in the process of gender reassignment you are part of nine groups protected by the Equalities Act 2010, and discriminating against you because of your gender reassignment is illegal.

It’s that law that the equalities watchdog is trying to enforce.

“Our laws and our values protect those who seek treatment for gender dysphoria”, the BBC quotes Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the EHRC.

“This means that where appropriate, treatment should be made available in order to ensure that access to health services is free of discrimination.

Make it a core treatment

“A choice between treatment for gender dysphoria and the chance to start a family is not a real choice.”

The BBC report then quotes and NHS England spokesperson saying: “Decisions on which services are commissioned by NHS England are taken by ministers based on advice from an independently chaired panel of health experts and patient representatives.”

The watchdog reckon it’s actually well within NHS England’s powers to make sure fertility treatment for transgender patients is a core treatment. One that is offered to everyone.

And they say what the NHS does next will decide whether the Commission needs to take legal action.


Picture Credits: Frozen Sperm, Getty Images. NHS logo, NHS.


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