Last Friday, a US appeals court ruled that the Biden administration cannot force healthcare providers to provide gender transition surgeries, stating that this would have forced healthcare providers to violate their religious freedoms.

The three-judge panel of the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed unanimously with a North Dakota judge in stating that the Obama-era rule infringes upon the plaintiff’s religious freedoms, according to Reuters.

In Sisters of Mercy v. Becerra, a group of Catholic hospitals, a Catholic university, and Catholic nuns that run health clinics for the poor argued against the Biden administration’s attempt to invoke the Affordable Care Act to force doctors and hospitals to perform such procedures, according to the law firm Becket.

The ruling notes the administration’s Title IX arguments, with the judges stating that “Title IX exempts from its restrictions ‘an educational institution which is controlled by a religious organization if the application of this subsection would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.'”

“Contrary to the government’s position, we conclude that the district court correctly determined that the [Catholic Benefits Association] plaintiffs face a ‘credible threat’ of enforcement from the [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission],” the ruling states.

As Fox News reports: “In 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services promulgated a rule implementing the probation of discrimination under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare. The rule prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all health programs and requires doctors and hospitals who receive funding from HHS (including hospitals that accept Medicare or doctors who accept Medicaid) to treat individuals consistent with their gender identity.”

“The federal government has no business forcing doctors to violate their consciences or perform controversial procedures that could permanently harm their patients,” said Luke Goodrich, VP and senior counsel at Becket. “This is a common-sense ruling that protects patients, aligns with best medical practice, and ensures doctors can follow their Hippocratic Oath to ‘do no harm.'”

“Today’s victory sets an important precedent that religious healthcare professionals are free to practice medicine in accordance with their consciences and experienced professional judgment,” said Goodrich. “The government’s attempt to force doctors to go against their consciences was bad for patients, bad for doctors, and bad for religious liberty.”

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