DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has filed a lawsuit challenging a new state law that prohibits the use of Medicaid funding for gender reassignment surgery.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill on May 3 that included language amending the state’s Civil Rights Act so that government officials are not required to pay for gender reassignment surgery.
The ACLU has sued in state court to block enforcement of the law on behalf of One Iowa, a group that advocates for transgender rights, and two transgender Iowans who qualify for Medicaid and whose doctors say they need the surgery.
ACLU of Iowa Legal Director Rita Bettis Austen says the measure is discriminatory and “has no basis in medicine or science.”
Conservative Republicans passed the measure after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in March that the state cannot block Medicaid from paying for gender reassignment surgery for two transgender women.