Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Seattle Trans Woman Sues Blood Bank

Because I have an AB+ blood type, from time to time I would take part in blood drives when the need arose.

But after my 1994 transition, I could no longer donate blood because the US Food and Drug Administration uses a policy they implemented in 1983 that treats trans men and trans women as gay males having sex with other males (MSM's) and permanently bars us from donating blood.

While the FDA is considering new donation  guidelines for gay and bisexual men, they still haven't as yet come up with guidelines that would allow trans people to do so.

Well, a legal case percolating in Washington state may force the FDA to speed up their timetable for doing so.

Jasmine Kaiser attempted to give plasma in exchange for money at CSL Plasma, Inc in Kent, WA but was told because she was assigned male at birth she could not donate.   She was also told by CSL workers she'd be placed on a 'permanent deferral list' and they would inform other blood banks of this status.

Since Washington state has had a law on the books since 2006 prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity,.Kaiser filed suit against CSL with attorneys from Seattle women's rights group Legal Voice and the Keller Rohrback law firm arguing that CSL violated the Washington non discrimination law
CSL Plasma, Inc is also facing a similar lawsuit from another trans person in Minnesota.

They have yet to respond to the Kaiser suit, but according to the Advocate a spokesperson stated that CSL "operates its business in accordance with all applicable industry, state, federal, and international laws, regulations, guidelines, and guidance documents."

Will be interesting to see how this case transpires.

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