At issue was Section 1557 of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age and disability by medical professionals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services interprets Section 1557 to also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Further, Biden’s HHS says discrimination on the basis of sex encompasses “pregnancy termination,” or abortion.
But the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a coalition of religious groups, including the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and the Franciscan Alliance. The appeals court, in a 3-0 decision, affirmed a lower court decision that had permanently blocked the Biden rule. The case dates back to 2016 and has seen multiple stages, with the Trump administration dropping the Obama rule and the Biden administration reinstating it.
The Fifth Circuit said it was affirming the lower court ruling “permanently enjoining the United States Department of Health and Human Services from requiring Franciscan Alliance to perform gender-reassignment surgeries or abortions in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs.” Religious groups applauded the ruling.
“We have been fighting in the courts against this transgender mandate since 2016, and Friday’s unanimous ruling only further protects the rights of health-care professionals across this country,” said Mike Chupp, CEO of the Christian Medical and Dental Association. “This victory 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.”
Becket, a legal organization that supports religious liberty, battled the Biden rule in court.
“This ruling is a major victory for conscience rights and compassionate medical care in America,” Becket attorney Joseph Davis said. “Doctors cannot do their jobs and comply with the Hippocratic Oath if the government requires them to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical expertise.”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice