Kentucky is Plaintiff in Suit Over Transgender Children, Doctor Rights
Catholic hospitals, physician groups,, and five states including the Commonwealth of Kentucky sued the United States government yesterday over a new rule that requires all doctors and hospitals to provide children who think they are the wrong sex with any services recommended as “treatment” by their mental health provider.
Under the US Department of Health and Human Services Final Rule for “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs,” issued in May, any health care provider that refuses to provide hormone therapy, plastic surgery, or other medical services he or she provides other people to a “transgender” person of any age will be guilty of “sex discrimination.”
The Rule, which also applies to all private health insurance plans and many employers, does not affect Medicaid or Medicare.
Announced at the same time the US Department of Education sent a letter to all public schools (see our story here) telling them to make their locker rooms, sports facilities, and other facilities open to students by “gender identity” rather than sex, the Rule is based on similar principles. It treats people who are confused about their sex as a protected class under laws designed to prevent sex discrimination, but says that any attempt to provide medical service based on biology is bigoted. Among other things, the Rule prohibits same-sex wards, programs, medical facilities, and even medical studies if the federal government rules they have no scientific basis, saying that same-sex facilities are the biggest remaining problem for “transgender” people.
The lawsuit, filed in Texas by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of a group of plaintiffs, claims that the Rule “seeks to override the medical judgment of healthcare professionals across the country. On pain of significant financial liability, the Regulation forces doctors to perform controversial and sometimes harmful medical procedures ostensibly designed to permanently change an individual’s sex—including the sex of children. Under the new Regulation, a doctor must perform these procedures even when they are contrary to the doctor’s medical judgment and could result in significant, long-term medical harm. Thus, the Regulation represents a radical invasion of the federal bureaucracy into a doctor’s medical judgment.”
Franciscan Alliance v. Burwell claims that the Rule violates several constitutional amendments and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; and is an “ is an unlawful abrogation of sovereign immunity.”
Suing are: Franciscan Health Systems,a network of hospitals sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration; Specialty Physicians of Illinois, LLC; Christian Medical & Dental Associations; the Commonwealth of Kentucky; and the States of Texas, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Kansas.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who in May added the state to a suit by more than 10 states over the DOE’s bathroom policies, is named with the plaintiffs.
“The Obama Administration continues its attacks on the constitutional rights and religious freedoms of Kentuckians,” Gov. Bevin said in a statement. “It is both appalling and illegal for the federal government to force Kentucky taxpayers to foot the bill for sex-change operations. That is a ridiculous misuse of power by the Obama administration. I intend to fight this type of liberal foolishness at every turn and will stand firm in protecting the rights and values of Kentuckians.”
“No doctor should be forced to perform a procedure that he or she believes will harm a child,” Lori Windham, senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said yesterday. “This rule would be the first time a law forces doctors to break their Hippocratic Oath and is also unique in placing mental health professionals as the final decision-makers on what medical care doctors must provide for their patients.”
Attorneys at the Beckett Fund say that most of the nearly 1 million doctors in the United States agree that few children who say they are confused about their sex think so by the time they are adults, and that giving them hormones and surgeries to “treat” their confusion is harmful.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty handles First Amendment suits for people of all faiths. It was lead counsel for many suits over the HHS “Abortion Mandate” around the country.
To read the suit, click here.
For the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty’s web page on the suit, click here.
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