July 8, 2022


GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to President Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services signed this morning. The order expands protections for medication abortion, contraception, emergency medical services, and patient privacy. The order also makes it clear that the Biden administration will direct legal resources to support efforts to bring court challenges against state and local healthcare restrictions, a fact sheet on the White House website explains.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded in a statement and on Twitter:
“Abortion is an LGBTQ issue. Bodily autonomy and access to healthcare is a shared struggle for women and the LGBTQ community, especially when it comes to abortion and transgender healthcare. President Biden’s executive order is a necessary step to protect the health of Americans and to stem the constant state-level attacks on our bodies and our right to access life-saving medical care. Congress needs to also urgently act by restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law, as well as passing the Equality Act and codifying decisions like Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas, and Obergefell v. Hodges.”

The executive order comes two days after GLAAD published a media guide for journalists covering abortion; the media guide offers guidance on inclusive terminology, statistics on abortion in the LGBTQ community, and context on the parallels between healthcare bans targeting abortion and transgender care.

GLAAD’s guide to covering abortion as an LGBTQ issue includes the following tips:

●     Talk to LGBTQ advocates and LGBTQ people

●     Use Inclusive Language: Aim for accuracy when describing the populations impacted by abortion bans. For example, “women and other people who can get pregnant,” followed by a clarification on pregnancies among transgender men, and nonbinary and intersex people.

●     Know the Facts on LGBTQ People and Abortion: LGBTQ women statistically seek abortion at rates higher than their heterosexual peers—for example, bisexual women are three times more likely to have had an abortion than heterosexual women. [Links and citations in guide]

●     Include Data and Polling: 70% of Americans say that the decision to have an abortion procedure should be made between a patient and their doctor, and 57% of Americans now believe the Supreme Court will overturn marriage equality next. [Links and citations in guide]

●     Reveal Links Between Anti-Abortion and Anti-LGBTQ Activism

●     Understand Similarities Between Abortion Bans and Transgender Healthcare Bans [infographic used with permission from Transgender Law Center]

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its Dobbs ruling on June 24, instigating a series of state abortion bans nationwide that mirrors transgender healthcare bans in many of the same states. 32 states have proposed bans on transgender healthcare access, especially for youth, so far in 2022. [Source: Freedom for All Americans]

GLAAD’s June 24 statement on the Dobbs ruling is here.

Justice Thomas's concurrence begins on page 117 of SCOTUS Dobbs document: Thomas writes: "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell."

Lawrence v. Texas was a 2003 opinion that decriminalized intimate same-sex relationships. Prior to this ruling, LGBTQ people could be arrested and jailed for intimate relationships.

Obergefell v. Hodges was a 2015 opinion that made marriage equality the law of the land.

Griswold v. Connecticut was a 1965 opinion that prevented states from banning contraception.

Gallup polls showed increased support for marriage equality (June) and increased numbers of Americans coming out as LGBTQ (February)—including the fact that 1 in 5 members of Gen Z now identify as LGBTQ.

GLAAD's Media Reference Guide (11th Edition) can be found here and specific entries on marriage and family are here.

The impact of the Dobbs ruling mirrors increasing restrictions on healthcare for transgender Americans. Nearly 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been proposed in states around the country in 2022. Thirty-two seek to ban evidence-based, safe, effective and lifesaving healthcare for trans youth. Florida also announced a proposal this June to block Medicaid coverage for all gender-affirming care for transgender adults as well as youth. Every major medical association supports gender-affirming care as evidence-based, safe and lifesaving.