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View Randall Garrison Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Chair, making sure science informs our health policies is critical during a pandemic. That's why I'm so disappointed that the Liberals have maintained the ban on blood donations from gay men and trans women. There is no science behind this ban. Not only does it reinforce homophobia and transphobia, it also reduces our blood supply at this critical time.
Now we've learned that the ban will also result in rejecting plasma donors, when plasma is so critical in emerging COVID-19 research and treatment. More than 17 countries, including Argentina, Italy and Spain, have no deferral period for men who have sex with men. They know that behaviour-based screening provides better security for the blood supply than discriminatory identity-based rules.
I have asked the minister many times to lift the gay blood ban and I do so again today, but today I also call on the family and friends of gay men and trans women to step up now and donate blood in place of those of us who cannot. When it comes to blood donations, we really should all be in this together.
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