Some 3,000 medical professionals involved in two different associations and a Tennessee doctor have filed a lawsuit against the “Transgender Mandate,” a law that they say violates federal conscience protection laws.
Dr. Jeanie Dassow of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the American College of Pediatricians and the Catholic Medical Association filed the suit last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The “Transgender Mandate,” part of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, bars sex discrimination and requires doctors to perform elective gender-transition procedures, such as cosmetic procedures, double mastectomies, phalloplasties and orchiectomies, The Christian Post reports.
The suit names the defendants as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the HHS Office for Civil Rights; and Robinsue Frohboese, acting director and principal deputy in the HHS Office of Civil Rights.
“This case challenges whether the federal government can make medical doctors perform gender-transition surgeries, prescribe gender-transition drugs, and speak and write about patients according to gender identity, rather than biological reality – regardless of doctors’ medical judgment or conscientious objections,” the lawsuit said.
Doctors say the HHS rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment’s Free Speech and Free Exercise of Religion Clauses.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert said in a statement that the law allows “HHS to grossly overreach its authority.”
The HHS announced a revised interpretation of the statute in May. The law was first implemented by HHS under former President Barack Obama in 2016. Former President Donald Trump repealed the mandate in 2018 before it was announced again in May.