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Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett KavanaughDrew Angerer / Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to consider yet another case of great concern to conservatives and religious liberty advocates, this time a gender-confused woman’s lawsuit against a Catholic hospital for refusing to remove her uterus as part of her “transition” into a man.

In 2017, Evan Minton sued Mercy San Juan Medical Center for canceling a hysterectomy, a decision Minton alleges was made at the last minute once she mentioned her “transgender” status to a nurse. The hospital’s parent company Dignity Health arranged within 72 hours to have the procedure performed at another, non-Catholic hospital, yet Minton argued the initial denial still constitutes discrimination under the state’s anti-discrimination law, the Unruh Act.

The lawsuit seeks $4,000 in damages as well as an injunction forcing all Dignity Health hospitals to perform hysterectomies for gender dysphoria and to stop “discriminating on the basis of gender identity or expression, transgender status, and/or diagnosis of gender dysphoria in the provision of health care services, treatments, and facilities.”

The case has been working its way through the courts for years, and on Monday the Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal by the hospital to have the suit dismissed, Reuters reports. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch said they would have heard the case, meaning that once against the Court’s two newest justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, sided with their liberal colleagues.

However, on Monday a majority of the justices also told a lower court to reconsider a ruling that dismissed a “bid by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and other plaintiffs to widen an existing religious exemption to a 2017 state regulation that requires health insurance policies to cover ‘medically necessary’ abortions.” Though again, Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch said they would have heard arguments in the case.

Dignity Health rejects the premise that it discriminated in the first place, explaining in a statement that “Catholic hospitals do not perform sterilizing procedures such as hysterectomies for any patient regardless of their gender identity, unless there is a serious threat to the life or health of the patient.”

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services hold that “direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary,” is “intrinsically immoral” and therefore “not permitted in a Catholic health care institution.” (Procedures with the side effect of sterility are only allowed for the “cure or alleviation of a present and serious pathology” if a “simpler treatment is not available.”)

“If Catholic hospitals can be required to remove healthy organs, why can’t they also be compelled to perform an abortion or assist in suicide, if a law is written declaring such refusals to be unlawful ‘discrimination?’” the Discovery Institute’s Wesley Smith warns. “Catholic medicine is on the social justice gibbet. Hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions may soon be forced to choose between ceasing being ‘Catholic’ — or closing/selling hospitals to maintain religious integrity.”

Monday’s decision is another ill omen for conservatives who had placed their hopes in former President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees to restore a more originalist understanding of the Constitution to American law. Barrett and/or Kavanaugh have previously been the deciding votes against the Supreme Court taking up reviews of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Maine and Indiana, a transgender restroom “accommodation” in Virginia, Title X funding of the abortion industry, and a Christian florist fighting for the right not to participate in same-sex “weddings.” 

This trend has compelled Gorsuch (Trump’s first nominee) and Alito to take the unusual step of criticizing their colleagues for lacking the “fortitude” to resolve such issues and being “unwilling to…bear” the criticism that taking a stand would elicit. Pro-lifers are currently anxious to see where the justices will land in their current review of the Texas Heartbeat Act.