Catholic hospital bans on medically necessary health care for transgender people will worsen the state of emergency for transgender people and their families. Health care services that improve the mental health and overall well-being of gender diverse, transgender, and nonbinary people are supported by decades of medical research and expert guidelines. But access to this lifesaving care for minors– and, increasingly, for adults as well – is threatened by a wave of state and proposed federal level bans and restrictions.

Now, the nation’s Catholic Bishops are moving to make a bad situation worse by doubling down on their previous restrictions that have long sought to prohibit the nation’s thousands of Catholic health facilities from providing gender-affirming care. The result of these newer, more stringent restrictions will be that gender-affirming care may soon be unavailable in large parts of the country where Catholic health systems are the sole or dominant providers of healthcare, including in states without laws banning or restricting such care.