NEW ORLEANS (CNS) ─ The 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard oral argument on August 4 in Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra, a challenge to a federal mandate that requires doctors to perform gender transition procedures even if it violates their conscience and medical judgment.
“The Franciscan Alliance and the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration seek to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ by providing the best possible care to every person who walks through our doors,” said Sister Petra Nielsen, a Sister of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Adoration, who is a board member of the Franciscan Alliance.
“We are simply asking the courts to let us continue to care for all of our patients with joy and compassion – as we have done for over 145 years,” she said in a statement released by Becket, a law firm. Washington-based religious liberty lawyers. representing the plaintiffs.
“We asked the court today to let doctors continue to care for all patients with compassion, conscience and common sense,” Becket’s attorney Joseph Davis said. “We hope the court agrees that the transgender warrant clearly violates federal law and physicians’ freedom of conscience.”
In 2016, the federal government under the Obama administration began implementing a mandate requiring doctors to perform gender transition procedures on any patient, including children, and requiring private insurance companies – at the exception of plans managed by Medicare and Medicaid – and many employers to cover gender reassignment therapy under threat of severe penalties and legal action.
In August of that year, Becket, joined by eight state governments, filed a lawsuit in Texas against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of the Franciscan Alliance, a network of religious hospitals. sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, and Christian medical and dental associations.
After years of litigation, including an appeal to the 5th Circuit and a remand to the lower court, the district court granted the doctors and hospitals involved in the case a permanent warrant waiver and protected their conscience rights medical.
The Biden administration has called for keeping the mandate in place. Secretary Xavier Becerra leads HHS under President Joe Biden.
In a separate action, the HHS Civil Rights Office released proposed regulations on July 25 that could force healthcare workers to perform gender transition procedures; requiring health insurance schemes to cover these costs; and will likely remove federal conscience protection for those in the health care field who oppose abortion.