Trump Justifies Trans Military Ban Because "They Take Massive Amounts of Drugs"

by Sam Cronin

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday June 5, 2019

In a recent interview with "Good Morning Britain's" Piers Morgan, President Trump defended his transgender military ban by falsely saying that trans people taking hormone therapy would constitute drug use that violates military regulation.

In reality, military service members are not prohibited from taking prescription drugs, according to Jane Schacter, gender and sexuality law expert from Stanford University.

"This statement is incorrect," Schacter told the Washington Post. "Many members of the military use prescription medication, and it is made available to them worldwide. Hormone therapy, in particular, is prescribed, including to manage the gynecological needs of non-transgender service members."

The military does have some restrictions on prescription drug use, in particular for pilots, but those regulations have been relaxed recently. In a recent blog post from the Psychological Health Center of Excellence, Navy policy has relaxed restrictions on psychotropic medications for pilots with mental health conditions. The medication many transgender people take is not banned by any current military regulation.

"The hormones taken by transgender individuals are not prohibited by the military," according to Joshua Safer, the head of the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System in the same article by the Post. "Medication for transgender people in the military would be — and is currently, for those transgender individuals already serving in the military — handled similarly to other prescribed medication where an emergency interruption is not life threatening."

For clarification, when the Trump administration reinstated the ban in 2017, which had been repealed under the Obama administration, the decision was justified by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying "transgender service erodes military readiness and unit cohesion, citing health costs," according to CNN.

In a report by the Rand Corporation commissioned by the Department of Defense, the think tank concluded that "letting transgender people serve openly would have a 'minimal impact' on readiness and health care costs... The report estimated costs between $2.4 million and $8.4 million, an amount that would represent an exceedingly small proportion of total health care expenditures," according to the same CNN article.

For context, the US military spends approximately five times as much on Viagra for service members as it would on medical care for transgender troops, according to the Washington Post.

In the remainder of the interview, which has since been taken down, Trump and Morgan discussed American gun violence, Trump's meeting with the Royal family, and remembered Churchill and D-Day.

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