Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-07-22
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Quigley highlights need for nondiscriminatory blood donation guidelines

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley ( D-IL ), Adam Schiff ( D-CA ), Carolyn Maloney ( D-NY ), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ( D-NY ), Chris Pappas ( D-NH ), Barbara Lee ( D-CA ), Deb Haaland ( D-NM ), and Katherine Clark ( D-MA ) introduced a resolution underscoring the need for policies governing blood and blood product donation to be grounded in science and based on individual risk factors that do not unfairly single out any group of individuals so that all those who can safely donate are able to do so.

"I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation, which builds on years of work to create a more equitable blood donor system. In the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, our country is experiencing a serious blood shortage, one that has again cast a light on the unjust blood donor guidelines.," said Quigley. "As we saw after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, crises cause us to consider the national blood supply, as everyday Americans step up to help in any way they can. Yet, the reality is that our blood banks too often struggle to meet the need. One important way to reverse this trend is to end the discriminatory, outdated ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men. It is imperative we establish guidelines based on the most current science and that our policies are evidence based. No one should be turned away purely because of their sexual orientation. While I am encouraged by FDA's recent change from a 12 month to a 3 month deferral period, it is not enough, and I remain committed to this fight until our blood donor system is truly equal."

"Federal policy for donating blood should be based on science, not based on fear and bias," said HRC President Alphonso David. "As the global pandemic wears on, we must continue to push the federal government to change this policy, which is not only discriminatory but undermines efforts to support and protect our communities. We appreciate the leadership of Rep. Adam Schiff in introducing this resolution calling for blood donation policies that are equitable, based on science and not unfairly singling out any group."

"Lambda Legal is pleased to see members of Congress pushing the FDA to further modify blood donation criteria to eliminate discrimination against gay and bisexual men," said Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal. "A shorter deferral period applied to all people engaged in certain risk behaviors, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, will create a truly nondiscriminatory policy. Lambda Legal looks forward to the adoption of an individualized risk assessment for every potential blood donor, thereby ensuring a safe and abundant blood supply."

In April, the Food and Drug Administration announced an updated blood donation deferral policy to allow more healthy gay and bisexual men to donate blood. The new policy lowers the 12-month deferral to a 3-month deferral on blood donations for men who have sex with men ( MSM ).

Rep. Mike Quigley has long championed Congressional efforts to overturn the MSM blood ban, successfully including Appropriations language instructing FDA to implement a risk-based blood donor questionnaire, leading over 115 bipartisan Members in a letter to FDA after the Pulse Nightclub shooting and partnering with LGBTQ+ advocates to continually raise awareness on the need for a nondiscriminatory blood donor policy .

The full text of the resolution is below:

H.Res.__: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that blood donation policies in the United States should be equitable and based on science.

WHEREAS, In 1983, the United States Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), an agency under the United States Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ), prohibited the donation of blood by any man who has had sex with another man ( MSM ) at any time since 1977; and

WHEREAS, In December 2015, based on recommendations from the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, the FDA promulgated revised regulations to allow an MSM to donate blood only if he has not been sexually active for the past 12 months.

WHEREAS, Despite these steps a double standard remained as the revised policy continued to treat gay and bisexual men differently from others; and

WHEREAS, On April 02, 2020 the FDA issued guidance for immediate implementation to address the urgent and immediate need for blood and blood components.

WHEREAS, The FDA changed the recommended deferral period for MSM donors from 12 months to 3 months; and

WHEREAS, A three-month deferral policy for gay and bisexual men to donate blood remains overly stringent given the scientific evidence, advanced testing methods, and the safety and quality control measures in place within the different FDA-qualified blood donating centers; and

WHEREAS, The Williams Institute of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law estimates that, based on the population of eligible and likely donors among the MSM community, lifting the federal lifetime deferral policy on blood donation by an MSM could result in as many as 4,200,000 million newly eligible male donors, of which 360,600 would likely donate and generate 615,300 additional pints of blood; and

WHEREAS, The increased uptake of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis ( PrEP ), which reduces the likelihood that an HIV-negative individual will acquire HIV, has allowed many more gay and bisexual men to be aware of their HIV-negative status and take steps to effectively eliminate their personal risk of HIV transmission; and

WHEREAS, More than 4,000 blood drives across the United States have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in approximately 130,000 fewer donations; and

WHEREAS, Maintaining an adequate blood supply is vital to public health; and

WHEREAS, The American Red Cross estimates that every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood; and

WHEREAS, The American Medical Association has stated that the ethical ideal for public policy in this area should be to transition away from policy that defers categories of persons based on attributing to all members risks associated with a population and toward policy that defers individual donors on grounds of evidence-based risk assessment; and

WHEREAS, Congress directed the Secretary of HHS to carry out an initiative to improve awareness of the importance and safety of blood donation and the continued need for blood donations during the COVID-19 public health emergency, through passage of the CARES Act; and

WHEREAS, Numerous federal officials, including Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Brett Giroir, have publicly encouraged people to donate blood during the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to consider donating convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies against the virus.

WHEREAS, Convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease; and

WHEREAS, The FDA is in the process of again reevaluating and considering updating its blood donor deferral policies as new scientific information becomes available, including the feasibility of moving from the existing identity-based deferrals related to group risk behaviors to alternate deferral options, such as the use of individual risk assessments: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that policies governing blood and blood product donation in the United States should—

be grounded in science;

minimize deferral periods;

be based on individual risk factors;

not unfairly single out any group of individuals;

and allow donation by all those who can safely do so.

—From a press release

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Pritzker announces new approach for juvenile justice 2020-07-31 - On July 31, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton announced the 21st Century Illinois Transformation Model—a new plan that aims ...

Gay News

COVID-19: Lightfoot announces $6.2M for Together Now applicants 2020-07-31 - Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced that the city is awarding $6.2 million in grant allocations to the Together Now fund applicants. The ...

Gay News

Report: Millions of LGBTQs could gain more protections after Bostock ruling 2020-07-31 - A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that millions of LGBT people could gain additional non-discrimination protections ...

Gay News

Commissioners praise passage of 'Justice for Black Lives' resolution 2020-07-30 - Cook County commissioners Brandon Johnson and Kevin Morrison hailed the July 30 passage of the Justice for Black Lives Resolution by a near-unanimous ...

Gay News

Ald. Lopez's office vandalized again 2020-07-30 - Alderman Raymond Lopez said July 30 that his 15th Ward office in the Brighton Park neighborhood has been vandalized again, reported. He ...

Gay News

U.S. House of Representatives votes to end Trump-Pence transgender military ban 2020-07-30 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ), the nation's largest LGBTQ military and veteran non-profit organization, released the ...

Gay News

Lurie announces overhaul of pediatric intersex surgery policies 2020-07-29 - Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital announced July 28 that it will no longer perform irreversible genital surgical procedures on intersex patients until ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Coming-out letter 2020-07-28 - Mom, Starting this letter is by far one of the toughest things I have done in a long time, and trust me, I've ...

Gay News

Steans calls for Madigan to resign 2020-07-28 - Democratic state Sen. Heather Steans is among those calling for Democratic Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan to step down from his post in ...

Gay News

COVID-19 Wisconsin added to Chicago's quarantine order 2020-07-28 - On July 27, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that Wisconsin will be the next state to join the 18 previously listed on the ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.