A federal judge in Texas has halted a rule issued by the Obama administration that some believe might require doctors to aid patients who desire to undergo gender transition treatments—from hormone therapy to mastectomies—despite their convictions or belief that the procedure would not be beneficial for the person.
“Plaintiffs will be forced to either violate their religious beliefs or maintain their current policies which seem to be in direct conflict with the rule and risk the severe consequences of enforcement,” declared Judge Reed O’Connor on Saturday, who also had halted a rule regarding “transgender” restroom use at public schools this past summer.
As previously reported, Texas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Nebraska, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Kansas all filed suit over the matter in August, as well as the Christian Medical and Dental Association and the Roman Catholic Franciscan Alliance.
The states challenged a rule released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that “builds on prior federal civil rights laws to prohibit sex discrimination in health care.”
“The final rule requires that women be treated equally with men in the health care they receive and also prohibits the denial of health care or health coverage based on an individual’s sex, including discrimination based on pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping,” the document released by HHS outlines.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty noted that the preamble to the rules outlined that doctors who accept Medicare or Medicaid will be required to provide the same services to transgendered individuals that they would normally offer to others, if those services are considered “medically necessary to treat gender dysphoria.”