The Obama administration issued a rule to redefine “sex” to include “gender identity” shortly before Barack Obama left office. Medical professionals with religious or moral objections to performing “transition” surgery had no protections. But a federal court barred the attempt to reinterpret the law, contending that it likely would violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
President Donald Trump’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a rule to align regulations with the court’s ruling, restoring “the rule of law by revising certain provisions that go beyond the plain meaning of the law as enacted by Congress.”
But courts blocked the rule.
Now the Biden administration has officially rescinded protections for medical professionals who don’t want to perform objectionable procedures. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights announced on Monday that it essentially accepts the Obama administration’s redefinition of “sex” to include sexual orientation and “gender identity.” Medical professionals in facilities that receive federal funds would be acting against regulations if they refuse to perform certain procedures on religious or moral grounds.
From The Hill:
“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Everyone – including LGBTQ people – should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”
And what about “fear of discrimination” that religious Americans might feel? What protections for medical professionals — who have taken oaths to do no harm — if they believe that removing an individuals’ healthy sex organs can lead to “serious negative health consequences”? Protecting freedom of religion is what President Trump attempted to do when he created the Conscience and Religious Freedom division in the HHS in 2018. He sought to protect hospitals and medical professionals from laws or policies that violate their rights. The division still exists. Will Biden shut it down?