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Five states join lawsuit against ObamaCare’s transgender mandate

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

AUSTIN, Texas, August 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Five states joined Christian healthcare providers in a lawsuit against ObamaCare's new rules requiring sex-change treatment for transgenders, including young children.

After mandating that all persons must be given the same basic care, a new Obama Administration "nondiscrimination" decree not only forces Christian hospitals and other healthcare charities to allow transgenders to use the toilets and intimate facilities of the opposite sex but could require transgender hormonal treatments be available upon request, regardless of the moral or religious convictions of the provider.

Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas, and Wisconsin joined the Franciscan Alliance, the Christian Medical Association, Specialty Physicians of Illinois, the Christian Dental Association, and other healthcare providers in the lawsuit. The new rules are a part of the ObamaCare mandate requiring coverage of abortion, sterilization, and contraception. 

The federal weapon is the threat of withdrawing tax funding from non-compliant organization. The Administration's Health and Human Services acknowledged that the mandate will "cover almost all licensed physicians because they accept federal financial assistance.”

According to the legal complaint, religiously affiliated institutions and caregivers are concerned that they could be forced against their sincerely held beliefs to perform hysterectomies or administer opposite sex hormones to transgender patients. 

Such concerns were confirmed when religious groups asked for a simple exemption to the new rules so providers would not have to offer care they believed to be inappropriate.

The Obama Administration rejected the request, arguing, "We believe that the government has a compelling interest in ensuring that individuals have nondiscriminatory access to health care and health coverage."

Part of "nondiscriminatory health care," according to the Administration's Health and Human Services Department (HHS), are hysterectomies for women who wish to turn into men. 

An HHS official offered, as an example, that regardless of personal beliefs, a gynecologist would have to perform hysterectomies for transgender women and "provide the procedure for transgender individuals in the same manner it provides the procedure for other individuals.”

In defending the new rules, the Transgender Law Center's Sasha Buchert contended that sex change treatments are "often literally lifesaving."

The Obama Administration backed off requiring sex change operations on demand, yielding to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that found "there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes" for people suffering from "gender dysphoria.”

Nevertheless, the administration opened the door to tax-funded sex change operations by decreeing that such surgeries under Medicaid are to be made on an individual case basis.

"The Obama Administration is using bureaucratic interpretations of long-standing laws and policies to push for a transsexual revolution during the last six months in office," North Carolina Values Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald told LifeSiteNews.  "It is unfortunate that medical professionals, educators and families across the nation must turn to the courts to maintain what a majority of Americans view as plain common sense."

The state of North Carolina is in a legal battle with the federal government over its law designating bathrooms “male” and “female.” The Obama Administration, in a move supported by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, is suing North Carolina, arguing that relying upon biology to determine a person's sex is “medically inaccurate.”

"North Carolina Values Coalition agrees with the 20,000 members of the American College of Pediatricians, who earlier this month called for the end to the normalization of gender dysphoria in children," Fitzgerald continued.  "Young children are being permanently sterilized and surgically maimed under the guise of 'treatment.'"

The family values leader charged, "The Obama Administration is attempting to force insurance coverage for sex reassignment treatments when there is no medical or scientific proof that such treatments actually work." 

Fitzgerald noted that opposite gender curiosity, and even experimentation, is a common, passing stage in prepubescent and adolescent children. "Studies have found that when gender dysphoria occurs in a prepubertal child, it is naturally resolved in 80-95 percent of patients by late adolescence, after they pass through puberty," she explained.

Walt Heyer, the founder of Sex Change Regret and a man who had a sex change operation and lived as a woman for decades, spoke from personal experience."From the perspective of a former transgender, and someone who has a website called sexchangeregret.com, forcing religious medical professionals, or anyone for that matter, to perform reassignment surgery, when the regret rate is near 20 percent and the reassignment regimen of hormones and surgery causes individuals to attempt suicide, is reckless and dangerous."

Fitzgerald pointed out that besides the violation of religious liberty, it is a waste of tax dollars to fund an unreality. "Dr Lawrence S. Mayer, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has said that it is impossible to change one's sex," Fitzgerald noted.

More lawsuits have been filed after President Obama changed anti-discrimination laws to apply to transgenders. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are suing the Obama Administration over the Title IX interpretation that forces schools to allow students to use the restrooms, showers, and overnight accommodations of the opposite biological sex.

The Becket Fund is bringing the new lawsuit on behalf of the five states and other healthcare providers. Becket Fund attorney Luke Goodrich told the Wall Street Journal that the current administration's state of affairs is an ominous sign. "It's a very clear warning signal: religious doctors and hospitals across the country, if patients come in and request these procedures, and they cannot perform these procedures because of their conscience and medical judgment, they can be sued and exposed to massive liability."

The five-state lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas because of a recent ruling there against the Obama Administration's transgender policies. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor granted a preliminary injunction against the new federal transgender guidelines, ruling that the Obama Administration twisted the law and violated proper procedure in its efforts to financially force public schools into opening the restrooms, showers, and overnight accommodations of one sex to members of the opposite biological sex.

Federal civil rights laws do not include sexual orientation or gender "identity," Judge O'Connor reasoned, explaining that Title IX's use of the term "sex" is "not ambiguous." "It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as ... it was enacted by [the Department of Education] following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth,” the judge ruled.

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