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Setback for transgender US veterans seeking gender confirmation surgery

Setback for transgender US veterans seeking gender confirmation surgery

Aerial view of The Pentagon, headquarters of the US Department of Defense.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is withdrawing its proposal to provide gender confirmation surgery for US transgender veterans.

The setback is because the VA did not provide a plan detailing how they would fund the change in policy, according to Military.com.

Transgender veterans can currently receive such services as hormonal therapy, preoperative evaluation and mental health care but not gender confirmation surgery.

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families, called the setback ‘deeply disappointing’ especially with the recent US election results that have Republican Donald Trump taking over the Oval Office in January.

‘As we face a new incoming administration, we implore fair-minded Americans to stand united in holding our new administration officials accountable by insisting this be fixed,’ AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack said in a statement.

‘The medical care of all our nation’s heroes, including transgender veterans, must be a priority.’

VA officials said they will continue to explore a regulatory change that would allow the performing of the gender conformation surgeries ‘when appropriated funding is available.’

There are approximately 150,000 transgender adults in the US who are now serving or who have served in the armed forces, according to the Williams Institute. A ban on openly serving transgender troops was lifted in June.