The Biden administration will not be able to force doctors to perform gender mutilation surgeries on minors over their Christian objections, at least for the time being.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit agreed with a lower court’s opinion on Friday that an Obamacare mandate that requires the facilitation of sex changes poses “irreparable harm” to the plaintiffs’ “exercise of religion,” The Blaze reported Saturday.
Religious hospitals are also sparred from the mandate, the report noted.
The appeals court found that the transsexual mandate is unlawful, thereby granting a group of Catholic health care providers a permanent injunction. Now, they no longer face penalties in the millions of dollars just for the ‘privilege’ of keeping their consciences clear.
The Blaze noted further:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed an August opinion issued by the Fifth Circuit, which struck down an interpretation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
Section 1557 prevents federally-funded healthcare programs from discriminating against patients on the basis of sex.
The National Review reported that in recent years, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has broadened the statute’s definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of “termination of pregnancy” and “gender identity.”
According to Becket, a religious liberty legal organization that represented the plaintiffs, the federal government issued the mandate in May 2016 “requiring that virtually every healthcare provider in the country be willing to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures.”
“The mandate made no exception for providers who believe those procedures to be harmful or object to them on religious grounds, and it applied to all patients, including children,” a summary from the legal group noted further.
A pair of religious hospitals along with some 20,000 health professions spread across eight states challenged the mandate in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The federal court blocked the mandate in 2021 and permanently enjoined the Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing Section 1557 interpretations against the Catholic plaintiffs.
The department appealed, and in “August 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed that doctors cannot be forced to perform or insure sex change mutilations in violation of their conscience and professional judgment,” The Blaze added.
But the Biden administration appealed again, this time to the Eighth Circuit, but a three-judge panel ruled last week to uphold the previous rulings.
It’s not clear if the administration will appeal to the entire Eighth Circuit or take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. But for now, the department cannot enforce the mandate.