By Polly Crozier, Director of Family Advocacy

The ideological effort to roll back the clock on autonomy and equal rights for LGBTQ+ people and all women hit another milestone recently when the Alabama Supreme Court issued an alarming decision saying that frozen embryos are children, shutting down access to IVF in the state and sending shockwaves across the country. The resulting legislative “fix” in Alabama was no fix and further undermined hopeful parents and their efforts to build their families.

It was a staggeringly clear example of increasing efforts to control our lives and our most personal decisions: to cut off access to fertility healthcare, ban contraception, outlaw abortion in any form without exception, end access to critical healthcare for transgender people, preclude the formation of LGBTQ+ families, and even ban no-fault divorce and take the freedom to marry away from same-sex couples.

But as the outcry against that Alabama ruling shows, people across the country are saying no to that agenda of fear and control.

At GLAD, we are fighting alongside our partners and allies every day to protect our hard-won rights and push back against these attacks, so we can all live how we deserve to – freely, authentically, and joyfully.

In the past week alone, GLAD has:

  • Advocated in state houses for crucial shield bills to protect access to reproductive and transgender healthcare in Maine and Rhode Island, while we continue our federal legal challenges to bans on essential healthcare for transgender people in Alabama and Florida. These important bills would build on GLAD’s work to pass shield laws in Massachusetts (2022) and Vermont (2023).
  • Championed equitable coverage for fertility healthcare before multiple Connecticut legislative committees, so that Connecticut law reflects the standard of care ensuring LGBTQ+ people and single people on private insurance and Medicaid have access to the healthcare they need to build their families. GLAD was invited to appear with U.S. Senator Blumenthal to advocate not only for the Connecticut legislation but also for the federal Access to Family Building Act that seeks a national right to fertility healthcare.
  • Continued our work to update parentage laws in all states so that children of LGBTQ+ parents and children born through assisted reproduction are secure. We appeared in support of the Michigan Family Protection Act, which would repeal Michigan’s criminal ban on surrogacy and ensure protections for children born through assisted reproduction and surrogacy, in the state senate, and hope to see that bill, and a similar bill in Massachusetts, signed into law this session. As we see legislative and court actions put our families at risk, we must pass robust parentage bills like these to protect children and parents.
  • As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard arguments Monday in Braidwood v. Becerra, a case about whether health insurers will have to continue to cover highly effective preventatives like HIV PrEP without copays or deductibles, our friend-of-the-court brief warned that upholding the lower court’s ruling would result in tens of thousands of preventable new HIV cases. GLAD continues to advocate for legislation to remove barriers to PrEP and address the racial disparities in access, including making PrEP available through pharmacies and without insurance prior authorization requirements which create unnecessary delays.

The agenda of fear and control won’t win.

With your support today and in the days to come, together we can protect our access to essential healthcare, our right to build our families, and our freedom to make important, personal decisions about our own lives.

News you may have missed:

Boston Review: GLAD Senior Director of Transgender and Queer Rights Jennifer Levi and NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter in conversation about the decades-long fight for transgender rights

MassLive: Highlighting LGBTQ+ leaders in Massachusetts, including GLAD Director of Family Advocacy Polly Crozier and GLAD Board Member and CEO of TransHealth Dallas Ducar