The Biden administration on Tuesday declined to appeal a federal court ruling preventing the government from enforcing a mandate that would have forced religious doctors and hospitals to perform “sex-change” procedures and surgeries.
According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which challenged the administration’s mandate in court, the ruling stems from a decision by the federal government all the way back in 2016.
That year, the Obama administration decided to reinterpret a section of the Affordable Care Act to require religious doctors and hospitals to perform transgender medical interventions contrary to their faith and best medical judgement.
“A coalition of Catholic hospitals, a Catholic university, and Catholic nuns who run health clinics for the elderly and poor sued the federal government to stop the mandate, and a federal court agreed that the mandate was unlawful and permanently blocked it from taking effect,” Becket noted. “When the Biden Administration appealed that decision, the Eighth Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision.”
Now, the federal government has decided not to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“After multiple defeats in court, the federal government has thrown in the towel on its controversial, medically unsupported transgender mandate,” said Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket.
Doctors take a solemn oath to “do no harm,” and they can’t keep that oath if the federal government is forcing them to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical expertise.
Big news! The Biden Admin has given up any Supreme Court appeal on the transgender mandate, and our victory is complete. It is UNLAWFUL for the feds to force religious doctors to perform gender transitions against conscience and medical judgment.https://t.co/h8KIy0Tz4J
— Luke Goodrich (@LukeWGoodrich) June 21, 2023
Becket notes that this is the second time the federal courts have ruled against the federal government’s transgender mandate. Last year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals also struck down the unconstitutional mandate.
These religious doctors and hospitals provide vital care to patients in need, including millions of dollars in free and low-cost care to the elderly, poor, and underserved. This is a win for patients, conscience, and common sense.
Becket said the government’s deadline to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court was June 20, 2023.
It should go without saying that religious doctors should not be forced to violate their conscience and religious beliefs because of the authoritarian whims of bureaucrats – but sadly, that’s not the case, as government agencies promote harmful policies.
Additionally, doctors – who may or may not be religious – should not be forced to violate the Hippocratic Oath and perform harmful, experimental transgender medical interventions on individuals, whether they are adults or minors.
Praise God for the good work of nonprofit legal organizations like the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that protect our Constitutional freedoms.
The case is Sisters of Mercy v. Becerra.
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