Roger Severino, the HHS Office for Civil Rights director, said on a call with reporters that the rule is consistent with a federal court ruling from Judge Reed O'Connor of the Northern District of Texas - the same judge who previous year said the entire 2010 health care law was invalid - and the Justice Department's definitions.
"We are committed to full enforcement of civil rights laws before, during and after any rulemaking", he continued.
UCLA legal scholar Jocelyn Samuels, who oversaw the drafting of the HHS transgender anti-discrimination rule under Obama, said that rule reflected established legal precedent that transgender people are protected by federal anti-discrimination laws.
"This proposed rule seeks to amend regulations that identify sexual orientation or gender identity as prohibited bases for discrimination for certain Department funded or administered programs", the proposal draft reads, according to Buzzfeed News.
The proposed changes would directly impact transgender patients by eliminating protections from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex stereotyping.
The move was slammed by rights groups.
There's been a wide array of attacks on transgender people by this administration and I think that affects the health and well being of transgender residents in MA. The administration has taken several steps to roll back or limit rights for LGBTQ people, including a restriction on transgender people serving in the military.
The proposal by the Health and Human Services Department, subject to a 60-day public comment period before becoming final, has alarmed advocacy groups that say they are anxious transgender patients, in particular, could be denied care, particularly in less populated areas where services can be scarce. The move, however, will nearly certainly to be challenged in federal court.
Louise Melling, the deputy legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union, said that rolling back these protections would "lead to devastating health consequences". She's upset and disappointed after hearing about the proposal.
CSE estimates that up to a quarter of transgender people do not seek health-care services for fear of discrimination.
"We have a lot of diversity for health care, We have a lot of options for people", Severino told reporters on Friday.
"There are restrictions on funding of abortion or forcing people to engage in abortion". The Trump administration says the notice requirement has become a needless burden on health care providers, requiring billions of paper notices to be mailed annually at an estimated five-year cost of $3.2 billion.
"The ACLU refuses to allow the Trump administration to try to drag us backwards and roll back these essential, life-saving protections against discrimination", Melling said.
However, that rule had been on hold after a Texas judge, on the last day of 2016, ruled that the Obama administration exceeded its authority by interpreting sex discrimination to include discrimination against transgender people.
Roger Severino, director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights, sad the change makes the agency "more consistent" with what Congress intended when it passed the ACA.
We have a statewide nondiscrimination law still in effect here which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public accommodations, including health centers and hospitals.
The Heritage Foundation's Emilie Kao, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, said that under that interpretation physicians could have to provide sex reassignment procedures and abortions, and that Friday's proposed change undoes the federal "overreach".
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in December 2016, noting that the Obama administration's definition of sex under federal statute was incorrect.
Advocates for the LGBTQ community in San Jose called an emergency strategy meeting Friday to discuss the President's proposal.
The Supreme Court could either affirm decades of case law protecting transgender people, or throw them out with a single ruling.