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Biden administration Secretary for Health and Human Services Xavier BecerraJohn_Papadopoulos /

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Biden administration on Tuesday sued to force doctors and hospitals to perform transgender surgeries, regardless of religious or conscientious objections.

The lawsuit was filed by Secretary Xavier Becerra of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and attempts to overturn a recent court ruling against the Obama-Biden administration’s “transgender mandate.” The Sisters of Mercy, a Michigan-based order of Catholic religious sisters, are listed as defendants in the case, making this Becerra’s second attack against Catholic nuns.

The transgender mandate, promulgated in 2016, required doctors and hospitals to perform “sex change” surgeries on any patient, regardless of age, upon the referral of a mental health professional. Several religious organizations, nine states, and an association of more than 19,000 healthcare professionals have challenged the rule in two federal courts.

The mandate was struck down in both cases, most recently by a North Dakota Eastern Division court, which held this year that it illegally “violates [healthcare providers’] sincerely held religious beliefs.” HHS appealed that decision on Tuesday, according to court filings.

“This is bad for patients, doctors, and religious liberty,” Luke Goodrich, Becket Fund senior counsel, said about the Biden administration’s appeal.

“The Biden Admin says it can punish doctors and hospitals for ‘sex discrimination’ unless they perform controversial gender-transition procedures,” he added. “The Transgender Mandate not only threatens religious doctors and hospitals. It also threatens patients, as there is ample evidence that certain gender transition procedures can be deeply harmful.”

The appeal is the latest of many radical assaults on religious freedom launched by the Biden administration in recent weeks.

Since January, the White House has terminated President Donald Trump’s inalienable rights commission, forced taxpayers to fund transgender surgeries and abortion, and mandated gender-confused children’s access to bathrooms and sports teams for the opposite sex. The Biden White House also has vowed to pass the Equality Act, which would codify abortion “rights” and require that Christian institutions hire active homosexuals and transgenders.

Tuesday’s appeal makes good on Biden’s threat to crack down on Catholic nuns who insist on their constitutional religious liberties. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor last year, upholding a Trump administration rule exempting them from the abortifacient coverage requirement of Obamacare, Biden said he was “disappointed.”

“If elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling,” he said, referring to a 2014 Supreme Court decision that initially exempted religious groups from covering contraception and abortion pills under the Affordable Care Act.

As the attorney general of California, Xavier Becerra had led another suit against the Little of Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns devoted to caring for the elderly poor. Becerra also spearheaded the baseless prosecution of pro-life activist David Daleiden after Daleiden exposed aborted baby body trafficking at Planned Parenthood centers. The prosecution of Daleiden was initiated by Becerra’s predecessor, now-Vice President Kamala Harris, who has also consistently attacked nuns.

Self-proclaimed Catholic Joe Biden and his administration have been regularly excoriated by U.S. bishops for their anti-life, anti-Catholic extremism. “I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity,” USCCB president Archbishop José Gómez wrote in a letter published on Inauguration Day and publicly backed by over a dozen prelates.

Days later, USCCB committee chairmen Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Archbishop David Malloy slammed the Biden administration’s gutting of President Trump’s abortion spending cuts as “grievous” and “antithetical to reason.”

Without naming Biden directly, Cardinal Raymond Burke earlier this month called out pro-abortion politicians as “apostates” who suffer automatic excommunication. Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, affirmed that Cardinal Burke was “teaching the truth.”