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Colorado trans woman denied free breast cancer screening by state-run program

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A woman in Colorado has filed a lawsuit after being denied access to a free breast cancer screenings by Women's Wellness Connection, a state-run healthcare program, simply because she is transgender. Jennifer Blair, a 62-year-old trans woman with no health insurance, visited Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains to receive a screening offered to low-income women, but was turned away.

According to KUSA-TV in Colorado, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only covers breast cancer screenings for women who are so-called "genetically female." Thus, Blair had find the money to pay for her own screening.

I'm just a person like anyone else," Blair told Denver's 9 News. "I have the same hopes, the same dreams, [and] the same concerns as any other woman." The lawsuit, filed by Blair's attorney Sarah Parady, claims that the incident violates the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.

This is not the first time that a transgender person has been denied the same health coverage deemed medically necessary for their cisgender peers. In 2010, a New Jersey transgender woman named Beth Scott underwent a mammogram at her doctor's recommendation, but was denied coverage for the procedure by her health insurance company, Aetna. The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) eventually settled the claim with Aetna, which reversed its position and paid for the mammogram in full.

GLAAD will continue to monitor media coverage of this story. If you see defamatory coverage of this story, please report it to GLAAD

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