Biden Administration may not force Catholic health centers to perform sex reassignment surgery

On grounds of religious freedom, courts ruled against a Department of Health rule which requires such procedures to be performed.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that on"religious freedom grounds" the Biden Administration may not compel Catholic organizations and health care professionals to perform gender reassignment surgery. According to FSSPX. News:

The appellate court adhered to the trial court's decision that the intrusion on the Catholic plaintiffs' free exercise of religion was sufficient to demonstrate "irreparable harm."

End of a legal battle

The court's decision ends a long-running legal battle stemming from a rule created during the Obama Administration in 2016. In that rule - which underwent changes last year - the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could force hospitals and doctors to perform gender transition surgeries and even contemplated including abortion as one of the mandatory procedures.

HHS argued that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act-which prohibits sex discrimination-should apply to Catholic groups.

The organizations Religious Sisters of Mercy, Catholic Benefits Association, the Catholic Medical Association, the Diocese of Fargo and Catholic Charities of North Dakota, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty alleged that the decree required them to pay for insurance and to perform gender transition operations and abortions, "against their conscience"..

They further asserted "that gender transition procedures violate their medical judgment by causing potential harm to patients." And to apply that standard would"violate their beliefs about human sexuality and procreation, as would providing insurance to employees for such procedures."

According to Luke Goodrich, the group's vice president and senior advisor, "the government's attempt to force physicians to go against their conscience is bad for patients, bad for physicians and bad for religious freedom."

This is a common sense decision that protects patients, aligns with best medical practices, and ensures that physicians can live up to their Hippocratic oath to 'do no harm'.