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Court halts Biden’s “transgender mandate”


BOKEH STOCK - Shutterstock

John Burger - published on 08/13/21

Religious doctors and hospitals won't be forced to perform procedures attempting to change a person's sex.

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Religious doctors and hospitals will not be forced to perform “gender-transition” procedures, after a federal court on Monday blocked the so-called transgender mandate of the Biden administration.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted a permanent injunction of the policy, which would force doctors and hospitals to perform the procedures on patients — including children — even when the procedures can be medically harmful. 

Religious hospital seeks protection from mandate

The case of Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra was brought by a religious hospital, an association of over 20,000 healthcare professionals, and nine states, and it is now the second court ruling blocking the administration from enforcing the policy.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for compassion, conscience, and common sense,” said Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “No doctor should be forced to perform controversial, medically unsupported procedures that are contrary to their conscience and could be deeply harmful to their patients.” 

Transition surgeries and the Affordable Care Act

Five years and two presidents ago, the federal government issued a mandate that applied to nearly every doctor in the country — interpreting the Affordable Care Act to require them to perform gender transition procedures on any patient. Doctors who refused to violate their medical judgment would face severe consequences, including financial penalties and private lawsuits. Immediately, religious organizations and states sued, challenging the legality of the mandate in multiple courts. In 2016, a federal court in North Dakota put the rule on hold, and in 2019 another federal court in Texas struck it down. Recently, the Biden administration announced that it would revive the same policy. But Monday’s ruling puts a halt on that attempt.  

“These religious doctors and hospitals provide top-notch medical care to all patients for everything from cancer to the common cold,” said Goodrich. “Everyone benefits when doctors are able to follow their professional medical judgment and their Hippocratic Oath to ‘Do No Harm.’”  

“This victory in Texas against government coercion means healthcare professionals can continue to exercise medical judgment and ethical care based upon sound medical evidence and Hippocratic standards of patient care instead of any ideology,” said Mike Chupp, MD, CEO of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. “As our national polling proves, healthcare professionals of faith are committed to caring for all patients with dignity and respect. And protecting the freedom to exercise medical judgment and conscience convictions is essential to providing the best and safest care to our patients.”

The Biden administration will have 60 days to decide whether to appeal the court’s ruling. 

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