The Equality and Human Rights Commission urged to spread the love when it comes to trans fertility
Published: 14 February 2017 Tags: ehrc, lgbt, trans By John Walding
A group of leading LGBT organisations is using this Valentine’s Day to call on the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to feel the love and extend equal rights to trans people when it comes to fertility treatment.
The National LGB&T Partnership is calling on the chair of the EHRC, David Isaac, to urge the government to look at steps needed to address the current postcode lottery in relation to treatment for trans patients. A letter sent to the EHRC Chair, focuses particularly on the need for gamete storage for all trans patients, where an individual's eggs or sperm are frozen for use in future fertility treatment. It highlights the lack of a standard policy in the NHS that means that many Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) continue to not offer this facility to their trans patients.
Commenting on the Valentine’s call to Mr Isaac, Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation and Chair of the National LGBT Partnership, who is leading the call said:
“Gamete storage for trans and non-binary people is a necessity not an option. The treatments needed for their recognised medical condition, including cross-sex hormones and gonadectomy, result in loss of natural fertility.”
“Sadly under current rules gamete storage is not currently funded directly by NHS England as it is not a Core Procedure listed in the Service Specification for Gender Identity Services. For this reason it falls to CCGs to determine whether it will be funded. Unfortunately, many CCGs do not fund gamete storage for trans people although they do fund precisely the same storage for non-trans people.
“This postcode lottery must not continue and we feel that steps need to be taken to tackle this unfavourable treatment of trans people that constitutes direct discrimination as outlined in Section 13 of the 2010 Equality Act.”
The National LGB&T Partnership made up of 12 key organisations to reduce health inequalities and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia within public services, is asking the Commission to investigate the matter and steps to address the situation as a matter of urgency.