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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Signs Letter to HHS Secretary Azar on the Department’s Proposed Definition of Sex

    Matthew Shick, Sr. Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
    Brett Roude, Legislative Analyst

    The AAMC joined the higher education community on a Nov. 29 letter to the Department of  Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, expressing concern over the agency’s proposed considerations of narrowly defining sex. The proposed definition limits and restricts the gender identity of an individual. The higher education community urged Secretary Azar not to move forward with this proposal.

    The letter notes that a narrowed definition of sex will exclude the identities of numerous faculty, staff, and students already acknowledged by institutions, many of which have chosen to embrace transgender and gender nonbinary students and created internal policies to protect their status within the community. The proposed rule overwrites institutional policies and could create confusion regarding the protection of these individuals within their campus. The letter highlights that individual institutions are best suited to create policies regarding the definition of sex, if consistent with federal law.