Today, Legal Voice—in coalition with our allies at Gender Justice and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)—submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the agency’s proposed Revised Recommendations for industry guidance regarding blood and blood product donation policies.
Our comments focus on discrimination that many transgender people experience when attempting to donate blood or plasma. Legal Voice and Gender Justice are currently representing a woman who was denied the ability to donate plasma in Washington simply because she is transgender.
We suggested that the FDA provide clearer guidance to address categorical discrimination against transgender people, who often are prevented by blood establishments from donating blood or plasma based solely on their gender identity. We encouraged the adoption of a gender-neutral screening process that evaluates potential donors on their actual risk rather than sexual orientation or gender identity. These clarifications can help increase blood product donations while simultaneously helping to reduce systemic discrimination against LGBT people.