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Australians needing gender affirmation surgery could get it for free if the Greens win the federal election.
Greens leader Adam Bandt has called for Medicare to be expanded to include the surgery that helps transgender people transform into the sex they belong to.
If the political party gets elected after the May 21 ballot, they would look to include the surgery on country's health service, a move that was backed in a petition signed by 148,182 people in October 2021.
The petition stated that the surgery can cost up to $30,000.
@AdamBandt handled the trans "controversy" yesterday by calling it for to what it is— Andre FdM (@trixpan) April 13, 2022
This is division and bashing politics at its worse.
Tried and tested by Trump and being repeated by Morrison's campaign. pic.twitter.com/iN76bY22ho
The request of the petition stated: “We, therefore, ask the House to make gender-affirming and gender reassignment services eligible for Medicare benefits, as these surgeries are essential for the mental health and well-being of select people in the LGBTQ+ community.”
Speaking to the National Press Club this week, Mr Bandt said: “There is a need in this country to include gender-affirming surgery in Medicare – that is one thing that would make a big difference.
“But at this moment, can I say this: having lived through the marriage equality debate, where people reported back to me that what they felt like and what they heard was their very right to exist being debated in parliament, we cannot afford another one of those.
“People’s right to exist should not be the fodder for the political election campaigns. Trans people deserve our support.”
Trans issues have become a key part of the election campaign, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently backflipping on his stance to ban trans women from female sports.
Greens leader Adam Bandt accusing the PM of trying to start a culture war over trans women in sports debate.— Annabel Hennessy (@AnnabelHennessy) April 13, 2022
Says Morrison “turned a blind eye” to issues relating to treatment of women in parli but is now pretending to care about women’s issues.
“Give me a break”, he says.
In an interview with 2GB Radio earlier this week he backed the views held by Warringah candidate Katherine Deves.
Mr Morrison said: “She’s standing up for things she believes in. And I share her views on those topics and I think it’s important they’re raised.
“And it’s got nothing to do with the broader gender debates. This is just about common sense and what’s right.”
However, Ms Deves has since apologised for her social media rhetoric about trans people after being hit with a wave of criticism for social posts, with her social media accounts now deleted.
Reacting to a post about a trans teenager who had undergone top surgery, Ms Deves said it was 'beyond heartbreaking' that the child was changing their sex.
Morrison "Katherine (Deves) is an outstanding individual .. I share her views."— Squizz (@SquizzSTK) April 13, 2022
Reporter "she described transgender children as .. mutilated .. (she's) triggered by the rainbow pride flag"
Scotty says he was talking about something else 🙄#auspol pic.twitter.com/E9XQJRo98Z
She added: “They will not stand for seeing vulnerable children surgically mutilated and sterilised in furtherance of an unattainable idea.
“The lawsuits will be legion, as will the government inquiries. Complete failure of safeguarding. Mark my words.”
In the wake of this apology, Scott Morrison walked back on xhis support for a potential ban on trans women in female sports, a private bill that was proposed by Liberal senator Claire Chandler.
Mr Morrison explained his new stance on the topic, saying: “It is a private member’s bill. The government does not have any plans for that to be a government bill.”
"I have told you very clearly what my views on that bill are, so I have been upfront.”
News Corp reports Mr Morrison had called the bill 'terrific' earlier this year.
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