Weeks after a federal judge issued a permanent injunction blocking the transgender mandate, some 3,000 healthcare workers went ahead and filed suit against the Biden administration for violating conscience laws.
The Biden administration’s transgender mandate, which was signed this past winter, requires medical professionals to perform transgender operations or administer hormones on both adults and children despite a healthcare worker’s religious beliefs or even medical judgement.
The mandate has since been declared unconstitutional three times, but two groups of medical professionals representing 3,000 medical workers, along with an individual doctor in Tennessee, are filing suit to ensure that their rights are protected as the issue continues through the judicial review process.
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), the Catholic Medical Association (CMA), and Dr. Jeanie Dassow allege that the transgender mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Amendment’s free speech, free exercise of religion, and free association clauses, and the Fifth Amendment’s right to due process. The suit also alleges that the mandate violates the structural protections granted under federalism and the 10th Amendment.
Referring to the Biden administration’s reinterpretation of civil rights legislation, the lawsuit argues,
“Under the government’s overreaching interpretation, doctors now face an untenable choice: either act against their medical judgment and deeply held convictions by performing controversial and often medically dangerous gender-transition interventions, or succumb to huge financial penalties, lose participation in Medicaid and other federal funding, and, as a practical matter, lose the ability to practice medicine in virtually any setting.”
Legal scholar Jonathan Turley noted, “The case could force courts to address a direct conflict between anti-discrimination laws and religious values — a medical version of cases like Masterpiece Cake shop.”
Not all of the members within CMA are suing on religious grounds but still don’t want to be forced to perform transgender procedures or treatments against their professional ethics or medical judgement. The suit states,
“CMA and its members believe that the gender identity mandate will harm those they are devoted to serving, as well as their ability as medical professionals to practice in conformity with their sound medical judgment and moral conscience. This agency action will violate the quality of healthcare provided to patients, as well as the conscience rights of healthcare professionals everywhere.”
Turley added, “Some of these claims like the federalism challenge will be difficult to maintain since the government maintains national medical rules tied to federal programs. However, this is a major challenge that could force a ruling on whether physicians retain the right to decline procedures or practices based on religious objections.”
Hopefully this suit will give added protection to medical professionals and force the courts to deal with the fallout of the Supreme Court’s erroneous decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. The majority ruled that employers could not discriminate based on sexual orientation or transgender status, adding them as protected classes. This has created difficulty for religious organizations, business owners, and medical professionals.
It is abhorrent that a medical professional would be forced to violate their Hippocratic oath by performing harmful surgeries and treatments on patients, as well as violate their religious beliefs, moral conscience, professional ethics, and medical judgment. These workers would be forced to live with the reality that they caused irreparable harm to, in many cases, children, who will very likely regret their decision later on.
The Biden administration claims that without the mandate, transgenders will be prevented from receiving medical treatment, despite the fact that there are, in fact, many medical professionals who are willing to perform these dangerous and experimental procedures.
This argument is a shallow and false statement meant to drum up emotional reactions rather than deal with the truth that mutilating or irreversibly altering an otherwise healthy person is not medical care.