Biden's HHS Appeals to Reimpose Transgender Mandate

By Michael W. Chapman | April 22, 2021 | 3:09pm EDT
President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

(CNS News) -- A federal mandate issued by the Obama administration requiring doctors to perform transgender surgery on any person, including children recommended for the procedure, was declared unlawful by two federal courts.

But now the Biden administration is appealing the ruling to try to reimpose the mandate on doctors, nurses, and health care providers that oppose such practices for religious or moral reasons.

"The Biden Admin just filed an appeal seeking to force religious doctors and hospitals to perform potentially harmful gender-transition procedures against their conscience and professional medical judgment. This is bad for patients, doctors, and religious liberty," Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counselor at Becket Law, tweeted on Apr. 20. 

The Biden Admin says it can punish doctors and hospitals for 'sex discrimination' unless they perform controversial gender-transition procedures," added Goodrich. "A court struck down this #TransgenderMandate ... But the Biden Admin just appealed."

The Apr. 20 appeal was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, Eastern Division, which had ruled on Feb. 19, 2021 that the transgender mandate was unlawful because it violated the plaintiffs' religious beliefs.

A biological woman who has undergone a double mastectomy to try to appear like a man. (Screenshot)
A biological woman who has undergone a double mastectomy to try to appear like a man. (Screenshot)

The Biden administration entities filing the appeal are Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; the Department of Health and Human Services; Charlotte A. Burrows, chair of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The plaintiffs in the original case included the Religious Sisters of Mercy; Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center; Catholic Benefits Association; Diocese of Fargo; the Catholic Medical Association, and several other groups. 

In the February ruling, the judge said, "The Court DECLARES that Defendant U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) interpretation of Section 1557 [the mandate] that requires the Catholic Plaintiffs to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures violates their sincerely held religious beliefs ...."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"The Court further DECLARES that Defendant Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) interpretation of Title VII that requires the CBA [Catholic Benefits Association] and its members to provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures violates their sincerely held religious beliefs," said the judge.

The transgender mandate was issued through Obamacare, Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

As explained by Becket Law, "The Transgender Mandate, issued in 2016, requires doctors and hospitals to perform controversial gender transition procedures on any patient referred by a mental health professional, including a child, even if the doctor believes the procedure would be harmful.

(Screenshot, The Daily Citizen)
(Screenshot, The Daily Citizen)

"Nine states, several religious organizations, and an association of over 19,000 healthcare professionals challenged the Mandate in two different federal courts. Both courts agreed that the Transgender Mandate is unlawful, and the government cannot force religious doctors and hospitals to perform gender transition procedures in violation of their conscience and professional medical judgment."

Becket's Luke Goodrich added on Twitter that multiple federal courts have concluded, “There is no medical consensus that sex reassignment surgery is a necessary or even effective treatment for gender dysphoria.” Gibson v. Collier, 920 F.3d 212, 223 (5th Cir. 2019).

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