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Another Federal Court Rules Religious Hospitals Can't Be Forced to Provide Transgender Surgeries

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The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked attempts by the Biden administration to force religious hospitals and doctors to perform gender transition surgeries.  

The December 9th ruling was reached based on the conclusion that the transgender mandate would infringe upon federal laws that preserve religious freedom. 

Becket Law’s Vice President and Senior Counsel Luke Goodrich applauded the decision, saying, "The federal government has no business forcing doctors to violate their consciences or perform controversial procedures that could permanently harm their patients. This is a common-sense ruling that protects patients, aligns with best medical practice, and ensures doctors can follow their Hippocratic Oath to 'do no harm.'" 

Plaintiffs in the Religious Sisters of Mercy v. Xavier Becarra case include numerous Catholic medical professionals and care facilities, each of whom provide medical care for those who are transgender, but refuse to conduct gender-transition surgeries due to potential risks and damages. 

This ruling follows two previous attempts by the Biden administration to force doctors to carry out transgender surgeries and abortions, even if these procedures violated their religious beliefs.  

As CBN news reported in August, a ruling in the 2016 federal case of Franciscan Alliance v Becerra stated the Catholic healthcare network and a group of nearly 19,000 healthcare professionals cannot be required to carry out elective procedures in violation of their deeply held beliefs and professional medical judgment, such as abortions. 

Additionally, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Biden administration’s mandate that required doctors to provide gender transition treatments or surgeries. 

Per their Twitter, Becket Law states that it’s a law firm that protects the free expression of all religious traditions - from Anglicans to Zoroastrians. 

"[This] victory sets an important precedent that religious healthcare professionals are free to practice medicine in accordance with their consciences and experienced professional judgment," said Goodrich. "The government's attempt to force doctors to go against their consciences was bad for patients, bad for doctors, and bad for religious liberty." 

In an interview with National Review, Goodrich further explained, "the Biden administration’s options for recourse are to seek re-hearing from the Eighth Circuit or to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court," adding, "I doubt [they] will pursue either of these avenues." 

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About The Author

Stacey Thoroughgood Headshot for Bio

Stacey Thoroughgood is an Associate News Producer for CBN News. Thoroughgood has worked at CBN since 2022 and specializes in written journalism. Her educational background is a blend of communication, politics, and government studies, which often she showcases through the content she develops for CBN News. Thoroughgood actively supports youth advocacy efforts and higher education accessibility within the Commonwealth of Virginia, has served as a Teaching Assistant at Regent University within the School of Divinity and School of Communication and the Arts, and alongside her service to CBN, is