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Iowa judge strikes down Medicaid ban on transgender surgery coverage

[JURIST] Two transgender women represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) won [opinion] a challenge Wednesday against Iowa's Department of Human Services in the Iowa District Court for Polk County [official website] over its ban on Medicaid coverage for transition-related surgeries.

The court found that the regulation banning Medicaid coverage for transition-related surgeries violates the Iowa Civil Rights Act and the Iowa Constitution.

It ordered that the language of the regulation that excludes transition-related surgeries "shall be stricken from the Regulation and the remaining language must be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing transgender individuals coverage under Iowa Medicaid for medically necessary gender affirming surgery for the treatment of Gender Dysphoria."

A number of courts have held in favor of transgender activists within the last month. A federal judge in Missouri held [JURIST report] that a prison's policy of refusing hormone therapy treatments to its transgender inmates was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment. And federal judges in Pennsylvania and Virginia rejected arguments that disfavored school districts' transgender bathroom and locker room policies [JURIST reports].

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