A new proposal at the Department of Veterans Affairs could pave the way for VA hospitals to provide gender reassignment surgery to veterans with "gender dysphoria."

The VA made public its intention to lift the agency's ban on such procedures this week, citing improved research about treatment options for gender dysphoria.

"[R]ecent medical research shows that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that has had severe medical consequences for certain patients if transition-related surgeries and procedures are not provided," the VA said.

The move reflects a nationwide movement in favor of transgender rights, a push that has sparked an intense debate about what those rights should look like.

VA officials revealed the proposed rule change to Time after a pair of veterans petitioned the agency this year over its ban on gender reassignment surgery.