Do No Harm, a group of 'medical professionals' fighting 'woke healthcare,' is behind many anti-trans laws
The wording in many anti-LGBTQ bills originates from a few select activist groups.
The AP analyzed 130 bills across 40 states, finding common language attributable to a group called Do No Harm.
Do No Harm is one of several right-wing organizations advocating against trans inclusion in healthcare.
Nearly identical pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation are popping up in state legislatures across the country, and it's no coincidence.
From bathroom bills to "Don't Say Gay" legislation, lawmakers pushing restrictive policies are creating a patchwork of legal anti-trans and anti-queer discrimination across the country.
Much of the wording from these anti-trans bills comes from conservative groups like Do No Harm and the Family Research Council, The Associated Press discovered after analyzing 130 bills across 40 states.
These groups produce ready-made bills to serve as models that can be easily replicated in different states. The bills have similar preambles and citations, proclaiming the so-called dangers of gender-affirming healthcare — which the majority of the medical community says is essential, life-saving care.
The Family Research Council has been around for decades, using human rights issues like gay marriage or abortion to mobilize conservatives. Do No Harm is much newer, launching last year in an effort to shield "patients and physicians from woke healthcare."
"We know that woke medical education and research are already impacting healthcare providers, and now federal and state policymakers are forcing woke policies into medicine," Kristina Rasmussen, executive director of Do No Harm, said in an April 2022 press release. "Woke discrimination hurts the people it claims to help."
The nonprofit has made an impact. Lawmakers in Montana, Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and West Virginia have all used wording nearly identical to the model legislation put forth by Do No Harm, the AP found.
Despite claims from the organization — and the few medical doctors on its staff — that it protects healthcare workers and patients from "discriminatory, divisive ideologies," the nonprofit's position conflicts with the recommendations of leading medical organizations, which warn against promoting pervasive stigmas against LGBTQ people.
"Simply, there is no scientific basis for discriminating against sexual and gender minorities," a 2020 American Psychological Association resolution said. "History illustrates that stigma, stereotypes, and propagation of fear via discourse are often used as tools in establishing and maintaining oppressive and discriminatory legislation and policy against sexual and gender minorities."
Several other medical groups have joined calls to stop anti-trans policies from taking hold across the nation — like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the National Education Association, to name a few.
Do No Harm's website, meanwhile, says: "This is just the beginning."
"2023 is already shaping up to be even bigger, bolder, and more impactful," the website says.
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