The court case is known as Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra. Franciscan Alliance, a hospital network founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Becket is the alliance’s legal representation. Nine states joined the suit, as did other groups including the Christian Medical and Dental Association.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday sided with a lower court order and permanently enjoined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from requiring the Catholic hospital network to perform abortions or sex-reassignment surgeries “in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs.”
The court noted that other cases showed that permanent protections are warranted. These include cases brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, whose Texas affiliate had sided with the government against the Franciscan Alliance and other plaintiffs.
Critics of gender transition have cited scientific, moral, and religious objections. Foes of abortion say the procedure kills an unborn human being, citing moral and scientific concerns as well as religious objections.
The mandate dates back to 2016 when the Obama administration interpreted a provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 to require procedures including abortion on request and purported gender-transitioning. The Obama administration interpreted a ban on “sex discrimination” to include refusal to perform abortion or to affirm gender identity.
The 2016 mandate did not include conscience exemptions, thus forcing almost all doctors and hospitals around the country to provide gender-transitioning procedures upon the referral of a mental health professional, regardless of their moral or professional opposition to doing so.