Federal court rules against ‘transgender mandate’

A federal district court judge on Aug. 2 ruled in favor of Catholic and Christian health care organizations fighting the “transgender mandate,” a federal requirement that doctors and insurers provide or cover gender-transitioning procedures upon referral.

The Biden administration in May had revived the “transgender mandate,” stating that a statutory federal ban on sex discrimination in health care also prohibited discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The administration’s rule prohibited the denial of some procedures to patients, such as abortions and gender-transition surgeries.

Judge Reed O’Connor of the North Texas district court on Monday granted permanent relief from the mandate for the Catholic hospital network Franciscan Alliance and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), a group of more than 20,000 health care professionals; the organizations had challenged the original 2016 transgender mandate in court, arguing that doctors should not be forced to provide gender-transitioning procedures against their beliefs.

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