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3,000 medical professionals sue US Department of Health and Human Services over transgender mandate

by Premier Journalist

At least 3,000 medical professionals have filed a lawsuit that will challenge a vital section of the law that requires doctors to perform gender transition procedures.

Last week, two medical associations filed a significant lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services, which intends to challenge the department on a select part of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, section (1557) bars doctors from discriminating based on sex or gender. The section also requires doctors to perform elective gender-transition procedures, including cosmetic surgeries or biological changes. The section was implemented in 2016 under Obama but was later repealed by the Trump administration. In May, a revised version was implemented out of fear that discrimination based on sex or gender "can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences." The primary legal basis for this argument is the 2020 Supreme Court case Bostock v. Clayton County, which argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does apply to sexual orientation and gender identity even though neither are mentioned explicitly in the law.

This legal change is why the American College of Pediatricians, the Catholic Medical Association, and Tennessee doctor Jeanie Dassow have filed the suit in partnership with Alliance Defending Freedom. Ryan Bangert, senior counsel for ADF and the leading attorney on the case, argues that the section in question is "grossly overreaching" its authority and argues that "Forcing doctors to prescribe transition hormones for 13-year-olds or perform life-altering surgeries on adolescents is unlawful, unethical, and dangerous." By filing this lawsuit, the ACP and CMA are "rightfully objecting on medical, ethical, religious, and conscientious grounds to this unlawful government mandate to provide gender-transition procedures."

Section 1557 has come under much scrutiny over the years, with several lawsuits filed by medical organizations. The most recent case involved the Franciscan Alliance. They were granted a permanent injunction against the mandate due to the ruling violating the RFRA.

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