3K medics sue Biden-Admin over transgender mandate | Politics news

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Xavier Becerra
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on November 12, 2019. |

Two associations representing 3,000 health professionals and a single Tennessee-based doctor have filed a lawsuit against the Biden government’s transgender mandate for violating federal conscience protection laws.

The American College of Pediatricians and the Catholic Medical Association, along with Dr. Jeanie Dassow of Chattanooga filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Chattanooga last week.

The lawsuit deals with the HHS ‘current interpretation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits sex discrimination, and includes the obligation for doctors to perform elective sex reassignment procedures, including cosmetic surgeries such as double mastectomies, phalloplasties, and orchiectomies (Removal of the testicles).

The defendants named in the lawsuit include the U.S. Department of Health, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the HHS Civil Rights Bureau, and Robinsue Frohboese, acting director and senior deputy in HHS OCR.

“This case questions whether the federal government can force doctors to perform sex reassignment surgery, prescribe sex reassignment medication, and speak and write about patients based on gender identity rather than biological reality – regardless of the doctors’ medical judgment.” of conscientious objection. Noted the initiation of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit argues that the HHS rule, known as the Transgender Mandate, violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act, and the Freedom of Expression and Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.

HHS first announced its revised interpretation of the law in May. The so-called Transgender Surgery Mandate was first implemented by HHS in 2016 under former President Barack Obama, but the Trump administration lifted the mandate in 2018.

“It is the Ministry of Health’s position that everyone – including LGBTQ people – should have access to health care free from discrimination or interference,” Becerra said in the announcement.

Becerra warned that fears of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity “can lead people to forego care, which can have serious negative health consequences”.

Ryan Bangert, senior counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, who represents the plaintiffs, said in a statement released Thursday that in granting the mandate, HHS “is severely exceeding its powers”.

“Forcing doctors to prescribe transitional hormones to 13-year-olds or perform life-changing surgeries on teenagers is illegal, unethical and dangerous,” Bangert said.

“Our customers rightly object to this illegal government mandate to provide sex reassignment procedures for medical, ethical, religious and conscientious reasons.”

To justify their interpretation, HHS referred to the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court case Bostock v Clayton County, in which the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to sexual orientation and gender identity, although no category is specifically mentioned in federal law: “The Supreme Court made it clear that people have a right on not being discriminated against on the basis of gender and being treated equally under the law, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. ”

Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion for that Bostock Decision and concluded: “The message of the law for our cases is just as simple and momentous: A person’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions.”

“That’s because it’s impossible to discriminate against a person for homosexuality or transgender without discriminating against that person on the basis of gender,” he continued.

Over the years, the transgender mandate has been the subject of several lawsuits, including one from the Franciscan Alliance, a network of Catholic hospitals in Texas.

On August 9, Northern District Texas District Judge Reed O’Connor, appointed to the bank by former President George W. Bush, issued an injunction against the HHS mandate on behalf of the Franciscan Alliance.

O’Connor concluded that the mandate violated RFRA by improperly violating plaintiffs’ religious practices. In particular, he alleged that the mandate used threats of “fines and civil liability” to “compel them to provide services and provide insurance for sex reassignment and abortion procedures”.

“If the RFRA violation is clear and irreparable damage threatens, a permanent restraining order relieving Christian plaintiffs from this religion-damaging behavior is the appropriate relief,” he added.

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