A second federal court has moved to block a Biden administration mandate that would require doctors to perform gender reassignment surgery against their consciences.
Reed O'Connor, a Judge for the U.S. District Court of Northern Texas, granted a permanent injunction to the Christian plaintiffs in the suit "to be exempt from the government's requirements to perform abortions and gender-transition procedures."
The ruling permanently enjoins HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra from "interpreting or enforcing" the mandate "in a manner that would require them to perform or provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures or abortions, including by denying Federal financial assistance because of their failure to perform or provide insurance coverage for such procedures or by otherwise pursuing, charging, or assessing any penalties, fines, assessments, investigations, or other enforcement actions."
In this case, the plaintiffs are a religious hospital and a group of more than 20,000 healthcare professionals.
Judge O'Connor first struck down the mandate two years ago, ruling that the government "cannot force religious doctors and hospitals to perform gender transition procedures in violation of their conscience and professional medical judgment."
The mandate was initially issued during the final year of Barack Obama's presidency as an interpretation of part of the Affordable Care Act's nondiscrimination clause. The mandate notably failed to include exemptions for reasons of conscience or religion.
Earlier this year, a judge in a North Dakota Eastern Division court struck down the mandate, a decision which the Biden administration has since appealed. The legal challenge, once again, positions Xavier Becerra in opposition to nuns.