Federal court strikes down Transgender Mandate

Fifth Circuit protects doctors’ conscience and medical judgments

A federal appeals court just blocked a harmful Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate that would have forced doctors and hospitals to perform gender-transition procedures on their patients against their conscience and best medical judgment. 

In Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra, the court ruled that a Catholic healthcare network and a group of nearly 19,000 healthcare professionals cannot be required to carry out these procedures in violation of their deeply held beliefs and professional medical judgment.

In the unanimous ruling, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s order “permanently enjoining [HHS] from requiring Franciscan Alliance to perform gender-reassignment surgeries or abortions in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs.” 

The court explained that while the government argued it should get more chances to show why it needed religious healthcare providers to participate in gender-transition procedures, other cases showed that permanent protection was appropriate—including, ironically, cases brought by the ACLU, who had intervened in Franciscan to support the government.  

“This ruling is a major victory for conscience rights and compassionate medical care in America,” said Joseph Davis, counsel at Becket. “Doctors cannot do their jobs and comply with the Hippocratic Oath if the government requires them to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical expertise.”

Six years ago, the federal government issued the mandate as part of the Affordable Care Act and tried to apply it to virtually every doctor nationwide. The requirement would have forced doctors to perform these procedures on any patient, including on children, even if the procedures went against their conscience and professional medical judgment. A group of religious organizations and nine states quickly sued and received protection from federal courts in North Dakota and in Texas. Today’s ruling is another successful step in this fight to protect doctors’ conscience rights.

“For years, our clients have provided excellent medical care to all patients who need it,” said Davis. “Today’s ruling ensures that these doctors and hospitals may continue to do this critical work in accordance with their conscience and professional medical judgment.” 

Additional Information:            

Case page for Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra (press releases & legal documents)

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Joseph Menslage

As the President and Publisher of Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazines, Joe Menslage is committed to covering social and political news from a Christian worldview. He founded Katy Christian Magazine in 2005, which swept the greater Houston and Katy areas like a storm. That’s when Joe realized the urgent need for publications willing to give voices to the voiceless, without political correctness or censorship. Joe Menslage founded sister-publication Fort Bend Christian Magazine in 2014. Prior to creating Katy Christian Magazine, Joe Menslage led a colorful life. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, spent a great deal of his childhood in Colorado, and lived in a couple of other states before he moved to Houston in 1981. Joe was God-gifted with an entrepreneurial mind, and self-started other business ventures before he found his calling. In Joe’s words, our innate talents are given by the Lord, and are meant to be used to serve the Lord. Aside from being a President and Publisher, Joe Menslage is also the co-founder of Katy Christian Chamber of Commerce, where Christians can network, build business connections, listen to passionate speakers, and enjoy monthly breakfasts and lunches. Joe Menslage also hosts a weekly political satire YouTube channel. Joe Menslage has four children. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, watching zombie movies and K dramas, ax-throwing and Krav Maga.