Biden Admin Rule Comes Under Fire On Religious Liberty Grounds

The White House has implemented executive orders seeking to compel doctors and healthcare professionals to perform gender reassignment surgeries and abortions even if they have religious or other objections to such procedures.

In response, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is taking the Biden administration to court. Arguing on behalf of thousands of providers and a Catholic healthcare network, the nonprofit organization is hoping that a federal appeals court will uphold a lower ruling that blocked the controversial rule.

The Becket Fund’s vice president has advised that the rule could mean countless clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities that receive federal funding would be required to provide services regardless of moral or medical objections.

“A hospital that would perform a hysteretomy for a woman with uterine cancer would also have to perform a hysterectomy for a woman who wants to transition to living as a man,” said Luke Goodrich, advising that such a facility would be “guilty of sex discrimination and subject to multi-million-dollar penalties” for refusing.

In addition to gender-related procedures, he advised that doctors could potentially face charges or steep fines for refusing to perform certain types of abortion. Since the Biden administration’s rule is nebulous when it comes to religious exemptions, Goodrich said that it is unclear how or if any providers will be able to deny objectionable healthcare services.

Despite lower court rulings that blocked certain aspects of the rule, he said that the Department of Health and Human Services appears poised “to treat these court losses in the injunctions as the price to pay for trying to change the norms in the medical profession.”

Other advocacy groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have similarly denounced the rule. That organization issued a statement asserting that the regulation “would force health care workers to perform gender transition procedures, require health insurance issuers to cover them, and entertain a mandate to perform elective abortions.”

The statement clarified that Catholic hospitals and healthcare professionals will provide “excellent care” to patients, “including patients who identify as transgender,” but advised that they will not abide by regulations that contradict the teachings of their faith.

“We object to harmful procedures, not to patients,” the USCCB explained.