Court Rules Biden Administration Can’t Force Doctors to Perform Gender ‘Reassignment’ Surgery or Give Children Puberty Blockers

America First Legal filed a lawsuit in 2021 on behalf of medical professionals as a class against the Biden administration for interpreting federal law in a way that would force them to perform procedures they oppose.

During the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) adopted a rule that would protect the conscience and religious beliefs of doctors and other medical professionals who don’t want to give children puberty blockers or perform “reassignment” surgery on any individual — male or female, adult or child. The rule also would have protected their right to refuse to kill unborn babies. A federal court blocked this rule.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act bars discrimination on the basis of sex in any health program or activity that receives federal funds. Congress has not rewritten this law, but Biden’s HHS announced that “on the basis of sex” included sexual orientation and “gender identity.” The administration cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020) to support the reinterpretation.

AFL and the plaintiffs dispute this claim. The court in Bostock ruled that employers couldn’t discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and “gender identity.”

A federal court ruled in April that AFL could proceed with the class action lawsuit and found that plaintiffs are “suffering injury from the Biden Administration’s announced interpretation of section 1557 and that they face a credible threat of prosecution over their refusal to provide puberty blockers and referrals for sex-reassignment surgeries to children.”

Last week, AFL and the plaintiffs scored a victory. A federal court ruled that the Biden administration’s requirement is unlawful. The judge wrote (PDF):

“In his Bostock dissent, Justice Alito saw how litigants would stretch the majority opinion like an elastic blanket to cover categories, cases, and controversies expressly not decided…And here we are…”

The court contended that Bostock‘s reasoning does not apply to Section 1557 or Title IX, and “basis of sex” does not include sexual orientation or “gender identity.”

From AFL:

AFL is proud to have achieved a victory for its clients and for all doctors across the United States and protected their ability to provide medical care based on science, to use their best professional judgment, and not be forced into the position of providing insidious and irreversible transgender “treatments” because of the judgment of woke bureaucrats in the federal government.

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