Planned Parenthood for Indiana, Kentucky offering gender affirming hormone care

A transgender woman meeting her doctor in the waiting room of doctor's office. Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly's Gender Spectrum Collection.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky has joined other Planned Parenthood affiliates in providing gender affirming hormone care for patients (GAHC).

Indiana and Kentucky, which are part of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (PPGNHAIK), started offering the care on Sept. 30. They started the care for the same reason affiliates in states like Illinois have, a lack of access.

“Transgender people, like everyone else, have a fundamental need for quality health care, and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Nicole Erwin, communications manager for PPGNHAIK. “The unfortunate reality is that, in addition to the economic and geographic barriers many people face when seeking health care, transgender people face additional, unique challenges when it comes to getting the care they need.”

She added that Planned Parenthood’s mission is to provide healthcare services in a supportive inclusive and nonjudgmental environment.

Both Indiana and Kentucky are more conservative states with fewer protections for LGBTQ people, especially transgender people.

“Despite the strides made toward equality in the more than 50 years since the 1969 Stonewall Riots, LGBTQ+ people — especially those who are transgender, people of color, or both — continue to be denied access to basic needs such as housing, health care, and employment,” said Erwin. “Bills specifically targeting transgender and nonbinary youth and criminalizing gender affirming care are moving through several state legislatures across the country. Indiana and Kentucky are no different.”

The response has been overwhelmingly positive from the community. “Our community allies have called this a “game changer” when it comes to increasing access to gender affirming hormone care,” Erwin said.

Often the waitlist for GAHC can be anywhere from three to six months. But health care providers can refer patients to Planned Parenthood where this is nonjudgmental and comprehensive care.

The best way to help support GAHC at Planned Parenthood is just helping people know it’s available at all health centers in Indiana and Kentucky. More than 300 Planned Parenthood health centers across the country provide GAHC.

“Many health centers are currently providing hormone therapy to patients through telehealth, to help ease barriers to access during COVID-19,” Erwin said. “We’re proud to provide high-quality health care for transgender and nonbinary patients — many of whom rely on us as their only source of care.”