On April 19th, the Biden administration filed an appeal in a case that could force “religious doctors and hospitals to perform potentially harmful gender-transition procedures against their conscience and professional medical judgment.”
The case involves an Obama administration rule interpreting the Affordable Care Act. The rule was issued in 2016, and prohibits insurance companies and health-care providers from discriminating against people on the basis of sex. The rule anticipated that discrimination on the basis of sex would soon legally include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Biden administration has repeatedly pointed to the 2020 Supreme Court decision in the Bostock case, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, as now legally requiring this new way of seeing categories of sex.
If this new way of reading the rule stands, insurance companies and providers “may not deny access to medically necessary medications, surgeries, and other transition-related treatments for transgender people if similar services—a hysterectomy, for example—would be covered for non-transgender people.” This would, of course, redefine the concept of “medically necessary,” ignoring the obvious difference between removing perfectly healthy organs and removing organs riddled with cancer.
Also, the rule contains no conscience protections for doctors or hospitals. Therefore, Catholic hospitals, which do not perform hysterectomies except to preserve the life or physical health of a woman, would be forced to violate Catholic teaching. Various legal challenges to the rule by faith-based groups, all of whom claim that the regulation violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, have been successful.
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SOURCE: Breakpoint.org, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera