A Catholic hospital that refused, on religious and ethical grounds, to allow a hysterectomy to be performed on a healthy woman as “treatment” for her gender confusion broke the law, according to a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Deborah K. Chasanow in Maryland recently.
A doctor with admitting privileges at St. Joseph Medical Center, a part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), scheduled a woman named Jesse Hammons for surgery to remove her uterus in January 2020 as part of the woman’s “transition” to a male gender. When the hospital, which has not been captured by the new gender orthodoxy fad, learned of the nature of the surgery, it canceled the procedure.
Hammons ultimately had the surgery performed at another hospital six months later but sued St. Joseph anyway for sex discrimination in violation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Hammons was represented by attorneys with the ACLU.
Section 1557 prohibits health providers that receive federal taxpayer funding from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age disability, or sex,” which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently interpreted to include sexual orientation and gender identity, which are certainly not objective categories.
Although several federal courts have blocked the attempted HHS redefinition of sex discrimination, the federal judge in Maryland ruled that those decisions, including one federal court injunction against HHS from a district court in North Dakota, do not bind a private plaintiff like Hammons.
“Mr. Hammons (the judge referred to Hammons throughout her opinion as a male) was not a party to the lawsuit in North Dakota and is not enjoined by the terms of the injunction – only HHS and its agents are,” Judge Chasanow wrote.
The ACLU issued a press release celebrating the Maryland ruling.
“We’re thankful the court saw through a transparently discriminatory and harmful action by UMMS,” said Joshua Block, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. The government has no business operating a religious hospital, much less do they have the right to deny transgender patients care they routinely provide to cisgender patients.”
St. Joseph was purchased by UMMS in 2012 but, as part of the sale, it agreed to operate St. Joseph in keeping with Catholic principles, which are guided by the National Catholic Bioethics Center’s interpretation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Judge Chasanow, while acknowledging UMMS’ contractual responsibility to operate St. Joseph as a Catholic hospital, still found that UMMS was liable for violating the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act in refusing to allow the hysterectomy to be performed in its facility.
The UMMS told The Christian Post, “We dispute many of the conclusions that were reached in this decision and may be in a position to comment further after additional analysis of the ruling.”
This case and others like it around the country are part of the Left’s push, aided by friendly government agencies and judges, to either force religious hospitals to participate in the radical and anti-science gender ideology currently prevalent in the culture, or go out of business.
There are over 700 faith-based hospitals in the U.S. If forced to go out of business, the only losers will be the patients in communities served by such hospitals.
We’ll let you know if the hospital system appeals the ruling.
Photo from Shutterstock.