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Federal Judge Blocks Biden Mandate Requiring Medical Professionals To Provide Gender Reassignment Procedures

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Joe Biden has been hit again by a federal court blocking his administration’s mandate that would require doctors to perform gender reassignment surgeries even if they do not want to.

U.S. District Court of Northern Texas, Reed O’Connor, sided with the Christian plaintiffs in issuing a permanent injunction saying they are “to be exempt from the government’s requirements to perform abortions and gender-transition procedures,” Yahoo News reported.

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A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a mandate on several religious organizations that would have required them to perform gender transition surgeries or abortions.

Judge Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas permanently blocked the Biden administration from applying the mandate to all plaintiffs in the case. Those plaintiffs include the Franciscan Alliance, a Catholic hospital system that operates twelve hospitals in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to numerous other health facilities in those states.

The administration may not enforce the mandate on plaintiffs “in a manner that would require them to perform or provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures or abortions,” O’Connor wrote in his ruling.

Luke Goodrich, who is the vice president and legal counsel for the freedom advocacy group Becket, said, “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.”

The decision permanently enjoins Health And Human Services  Secretary Xavier Becerra from “interpreting or enforcing” the mandate “in a manner that would require them to perform or provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures or abortions, including by denying Federal financial assistance because of their failure to perform or provide insurance coverage for such procedures or by otherwise pursuing, charging, or assessing any penalties, fines, assessments, investigations, or other enforcement actions.”

“The Christian plaintiffs contend that violation of their statutory rights under RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) is an irreparable harm,” the judge said.

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“The court agrees,” O’Connor said, “and concludes that enforcement of the 2021 interpretation (of Section 1557) forces Christian plaintiffs to face civil penalties or to perform gender-transition procedures and abortions contrary to their religious beliefs — a quintessential irreparable injury.”

The same judge struck down the mandate two years ago saying that the government “cannot force religious doctors and hospitals to perform gender transition procedures in violation of their conscience and professional medical judgment.”

The mandate was attached to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, by former President Obama’s administration.

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It required healthcare providers to insure and perform gender transitions and it does not provide a religious exemption for providers.

Eight states, The Franciscan Alliance, and other Christian groups filed a lawsuit against the mandate and received a preliminary injunction on December 31, 2016, from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that said the mandate “likely violates” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The injunction said that providers could not be mandated to provide abortions and gender transition surgeries against their religious beliefs but that other parts of the mandates stayed intact.

“Today’s ruling protects patients, aligns with current medical research, and ensures doctors aren’t forced to violate their religious beliefs and medical judgment,” Goodrich said in a series of tweets.

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“The plaintiffs are a religious hospital & group of over 20,000 healthcare professionals (@CMDANational) who gladly serve ALL patients regardless of their sex or gender identity. They provide top-notch care to transgender patients for everything from cancer to the common cold,” he said.

“These religious doctors and hospitals joyfully serve ALL patients and routinely provide top-notch care to transgender patients. There is ample evidence, however, that some gender transition procedures can harm patients,” said.

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