The Obama administration has already shown that the progressives are willing to go to great lengths to impose their beliefs onto people. We saw this in their battle with the Little Sisters of the Poor. Now, the new administration is clearly ready to do battle over abortions and sex-change surgeries. However, the battle is still raging.
Progressives have already taken one loss but you know that this will not stop them. For those who are unaware, A federal judge issued a permanent injunction yesterday that restores conscience protections for health care workers and the facilities that they work in. They still have the right to refuse to perform abortions and sex-change surgeries.
The Daily Caller has more about this ongoing battle:
“A federal court has blocked President Joe Biden’s mandate that would require doctors to perform transgender surgeries against their consciences.
Judge Reed O’Connor of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Wichita Falls Division, granted “a permanent injunction” to the Christian plaintiffs “to be exempt from the government’s requirement to perform abortions and gender-transition procedures.” …
The ruling permanently enjoins Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra “from interpreting or enforcing” the law “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.”
The decision from Judge O’Connor rests on the idea that he can reject the government argument about the case being moot. The Trump administration was responsible for changing the HHS rule in 2019. That is an administration that actually cares about religious liberty. The Biden administration and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra are now looking to change the rules back again.
HHS has already reinterpreted Section 1557(a), as O’Connor has pointed out. Enforcement has been expanded to include the procedures that are considered objectionable.
Per the Daily Caller:
“Even assuming the HHS Secretary has the power to reimagine Section 1557(a)—or the 2020 Rule for that matter—by administrative fiat,7 the 2021 Interpretation, while succinct, did little for clarity. According to the 2021 Interpretation, incorporating all of HHS’s compliance measures, Section 1557(a) should be interpreted to read, in relevant part, as follows … [quotes interpretation]
If this sounds entirely unworkable or, at worst, materially indistinguishable from the 2016 Rule, you’re not alone. Compare the 2020 Rule and 2021 Interpretation, 86 Fed. Reg. 27,984, 27,984 (May 25, 2021); with the 2016 Rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 31,376, 31,466, 31,467 (May 18, 2016) (defining “sex” discrimination under Section 1557 to include discrimination based on “gender identity,” and promising “[i]nsofar as the application of any requirement under this part would violate applicable Federal statutory protections for religious freedom and conscience, such application shall not be required.”). The 2021 Interpretation effectuates a legal Penrose staircase to enforce Section 1557 in the near-identical way as, if not an enhanced version of, how the 2016 Rule dictated.”
Today’s ruling protects patients, aligns with current medical research, and ensures doctors aren’t forced to violate their religious beliefs and medical judgment–a victory for common-sense, conscience, and sound medicine. fin/
— Luke Goodrich (@LukeWGoodrich) August 9, 2021
HHS is sure to appeal to this case to the Fifth Circuit. They are taking some risks by doing so, that is for sure. HHS has yet to enforce their new interpretation, which is going to make it tricky to argue the issue of the argument being moot. In the past, the Fifth Circuit has not taken kindly to any sort of HHS overreach. If we had to guess, the progressives are going to force Beccera’s hand.
The Supreme Court’s hand is also going to be forced soon enough. The contours of conscience and religious freedom are at stake here. If the progressives keep on pushing, they might end up being knocked out. The Franciscan Alliance deserves better than having to fight like this but this is the way of the world now. We are always forced to endure the whims of the progressives.