Stanton Urges Feds to Lift ‘Unnecessary’ Ban on Gay, Bisexual Blood Donations

March 19, 2020
Press Release
Science-based Policy Change Could Help Address National Blood Shortage

PHOENIX—Rep. Greg Stanton today urged the Trump Administration to lift the ban on gay and bisexual men to allow all healthy Americans to donate blood.  In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, thousands of blood drives have been canceled and the U.S. is facing a shortage of donated blood.  Stanton argues that the prohibition on gay and bisexual men that prevents them from donating blood is a policy is not only unnecessary, but also excludes many Americans from answering the call for help.

In Arizona, Vitalant, which supplies blood for all the hospitals in Maricopa County and 90 percent of the hospitals in the state, has experienced a 20 percent drop in blood donations overnight.  Governor Doug Ducey has called upon residents to donate blood, recognizing that donated blood is an essential part of caring for patients.

“The current policy of requiring men who have sex with men to be celibate for a year before they can donate cannot be justified with science,” Stanton wrote in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, who has been tasked with leading the Administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. “In this time when it is ever more important to make decisions based on sound science, I urge you to repeal this ban on blood donations.”

Stanton’s full letter is available here.

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