The Biden administration is appealing a district court ruling to force doctors to perform gender reassignment procedures on children.
Oral argument in the case took place Thursday morning in New Orleans, Louisiana.
After inheriting a court case from the Obama administration over a “transgender mandate” that sought to force doctors to provide what the left describes as “gender-affirming care” to children, the Biden administration is provocative the district court’s decision to enforce the Obama-era rule.
The Franciscan Alliance, a Catholic health care system, is disputed the rule that was included as part of Obamacare because it “requires doctors and hospitals nationwide to perform gender reassignment procedures on any patient, including a child, even if the procedure violates the doctor’s conscience and may harm the patient”.
“No physician should be forced to participate in controversial and irreversible gender transition procedures that can be profoundly harmful to patients,” said Dr. André Van Mol, a member of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, in a press release. “The federal government has no business forcing doctors to violate their conscience, professional medical judgment and the Hippocratic oath to ‘do no harm’.”
Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services, led by Secretary Xavier Becerra, is trying to promote a similar rule that would still mandate these types of medical procedures “or face severe financial penalties,” according to a press release from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty — the religious liberty law firm serving as counsel to the Franciscan Alliance in the case.
The new proposed rule is somewhat vague about how far the Biden administration is willing to go with what they believe is “gender-affirming care” for children.
However, the definition provided for “gender-affirming care” in the proposed rule “may include, but is not necessarily limited to, counseling, hormone therapy, surgery, and other services designed to treat gender dysphoria or support of gender confirmation or transition”.
Additionally, Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine, a man who identifies as a woman, called for increasingly younger “gender-affirming care” to “affirm and support and empower these young people.”
While the Biden administration has put a lot of emphasis and advocacy on this issue, studies projection that up to 94 percent (77-94 percent in one and 73-88 percent in another) of children who experience gender dysphoria grow out of it naturally. And yet, Biden’s transgender mandate would hinder these children’s ability to grow out of it by at least harming their ability to make it through puberty.
“The Franciscan Alliance and the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration seek to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ by providing the best possible care to each person who walks through our doors,” Sister Petra Nielsen, Sister of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration and member of the Corporate Council of the Franciscan Alliance, he said in a press release. “We are simply asking the courts to let us continue to care for all our patients with joy and compassion – as we have done for over 145 years.”
Doctors will remain protected against the transgender mandate if the appeals court decides to uphold the district court’s order.
“We asked the court today to allow doctors to continue to care for all patients with compassion, conscience and common sense,” Joseph Davis, counsel at the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a news release. “We hope the court will agree that the transgender mandate clearly violates federal law and physicians’ freedom of conscience.”
The case is Franciscan Alliance v. BecerraNo. 7:16-cv-00108-O, in the U.S. Court of Appeals. for the Fifth Circuit.
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.