Transgender people have long had to deal with health care discrimination in the US—and while ObamaCare is chipping away at that in a big way ("transsexualism" is no longer a pre-existing condition), one issue remains problematic: pregnancy. "Many Americans have come to accept gay parents; the transgender community is next in line for recognition," writes Sarah Elizabeth Richards in the New York Times. Richards looks at one case in particular—that of Andy Inkster, who left his female reproductive organs intact when he transitioned to male at age 18, but was in 2009 denied fertility treatment at a facility he's now suing (he did successfully have a daughter the following year with the help of another facility). One of the reasons he was rejected, he claims, is because he refused to supply information he says nontransgender people are not asked for, such as certification from his therapist that he was emotionally prepared for a baby.
It's true, writes Richards, that there are questions surrounding transgender pregnancies that need to be considered—including the question of how years of hormone therapy affect eggs and sperm—but the bottom line is that all available "paths toward creating transgender families deserve careful study." First, transgender people must be allowed basic health care (one "disturbing" study finds that 19% of transgender adults reported being turned down for treatment). After that, medical providers must realize that "gender identity has nothing to do with the desire to have children—or with who will make a good parent." Click for Richards' full column. (Read more transgender stories.)