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

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.

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