A federal judge has blocked yet another unlawful dictate from the Obama Administration which could force Catholic hospitals and Christian physicians to perform abortions and sex-change operations. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas has issued a preliminary injunction against the rule until a trial is held on a lawsuit challenging the mandate.
In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new rule under the “Affordable Care Act” (Obamacare) which would prohibit discrimination by health care providers against individuals based on “termination of pregnancy” or so-called “gender identity.” The language of the new rule included no religious exemption.
The Obama Administration took this action by unilaterally redefining the word “sex” in federal anti-discrimination statutes. Under Title IX of federal law, no person may be “subjected to discrimination” or “denied the benefits of” any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance on the basis of sex. Without any authority in law or regulation, HHS has now distorted the interpretation of the word “sex” to encompass a person’s imaginary “gender identity” or a condition of pregnancy.
The lawsuit against the mandate was filed in federal court by The Franciscan Alliance, a religious health care network that operates 14 Catholic hospitals in Indiana and Illinois. The states of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Arizona, and Mississippi joined the Franciscan Alliance as co-plaintiffs in the case.
In issuing a temporary restraining order against the mandate, Judge O’Connor stated the obvious that there is no legal basis for the Obama Administration’s action. “Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and for more than 40 years after the passage of Title IX in 1972, no federal court or agency has concluded ‘sex’ should be defined to include gender identity,” O’Connor wrote.
O’Connor stated that the preliminary injunction was warranted because the plaintiffs had provided sufficient evidence that the rule would “pressure doctors to deliver healthcare in a manner that violates their religious beliefs and thwart their independent medical judgement.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that HHS has no legitimate power to order religious organizations and physicians to perform abortions or to provide so-called “gender transition” services or so-called “sex reassignment surgery.” Paxton said that “the President lacks the authority to rewrite the law and declare that ‘sex’ means one’s internal sense of gender,” rather than its longstanding biological basis.
Additional lawsuits have now been filed against the mandate by the Catholic diocese of Fargo, North Dakota and the Catholic Benefits Association (CBA), yet another group of Catholic hospitals. “By redefining ‘sex’ to mean both ‘gender identity’ and ‘termination of pregnancy,’ the Obama Administration is imposing radical new mandates on hospitals and employees, and creating a serious moral problem for Catholic employers that must be addressed,” says Archbishop William Lori, Chairman of the CBA.
Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, says the Obama Administration’s obsession with gender ideology coerces medical malpractice. “Transgender treatment, especially to minors, inflicts irreversible harm on persons too young to consent. Chemical or surgical castration should be considered a crime against humanity.”
“Transgender treatment of minors constitutes radical, non-consented social experimentation. Affirming a patient’s delusions about their gender is considered psychiatric malpractice in other contexts,” Dr. Orient added.
Ken Klukowski, an attorney with the First Liberty Institute, says that the Obama Administration dictate is an unprecedented attack on the civil liberties of religious health care providers. “It is an unconstitutional assault on the First Amendment that the Obama Administration is forcing their rejection of biological fact onto people whose faith teaches that man and woman refers to what they have meant for thousands of years, and that God purposefully created them that way.”
Judge O’Connor is the same federal judge who recently issued a nationwide temporary injunction against the Obama Administration’s open bathroom mandate. Under that illegal rule, federal authorities dictated that all public schools must allow any student to access the bathrooms, lockers rooms, and shower facilities of the opposite sex.
Aldermen in the city of St. Louis are attempting to replicate the Obama Administration’s forced abortion/sex change mandate. A proposed city ordinance is being introduced with language nearly identical to that of the rule recently issued by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
We encourage you to contact your elected representatives in Washington calling on them to urge President-elect Donald Trump to repeal the forced abortion/sex change mandate.