Earlier this month, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the American College of Pediatricians and the Catholic Medical Association appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, challenging a Department of Health and Human Services mandate.
The case was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
American College of Pediatricians v. Becerra is a suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that would require doctors to provide gender-transition services to any patient, including a child, even if it violates their ethical or religious convictions.
In an article on ADF Legal, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, Matt Bowman, explains the reason behind the lawsuit. According to Bowman, shortly after President Biden took office, he issued an executive order instructing his administration to reinterpret “sex” in federal laws to also include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” This reinterpretation affects Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which bans sex discrimination. Bowman says that the regulation would create a scenario in which “doctors and other health care
professionals could be forced to act against their medical judgment, religious beliefs, and conscience in performing controversial and often medically dangerous abortions or “gender transition” interventions on patients—including children.”
An ADF press release reports that the physicians involved in the lawsuit are challenging the mandate because it requires doctors “to perform controversial and life-altering procedures and surgeries for individuals, including children, seeking to alter their bodies to match their gender identity, even if doing so violates the physician’s medical judgment, religious beliefs, or conscientious objections.”
According to senior vice president for strategic initiatives and special counsel to the president at Alliance Defending Freedom, Ryan Bangert, the law and the medical profession have long recognized and respected the biological differences between boys and girls. Bangert says, “Forcing doctors to prescribe transition hormones for 13-year-olds or perform life-altering surgeries on adolescents is unlawful, unethical, and dangerous.”
Julie Marie Blake, senior counsel for regulatory litigation at Alliance Defending Freedom, says, “Doctors should never be forced to perform a controversial and medically dangerous procedure that goes against their best judgment, their conscience, or their religion, especially when it involves vulnerable children.”
The two medical associations represented by Alliance Defending Freedom represent 3,000 physicians and health professionals combined.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
Launched in 1994 by leaders in the Christian community, they have defended the rights of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others on issues including religious rights and free speech.
Since 2011, ADF has secured 14 victories at the Supreme Court on behalf of pastors, churches, religious organizations, college students, family-owned businesses, pro-life pregnancy centers, and a town council.
It also provides legal counsel to over 3,500 churches and ministries through its Church and Ministry Alliance program.
ADF’s international branch, ADF International, works toward helping Christians and religious minorities such as Yazidis, Shia Muslims, and others on issues relating to religious persecution and free speech. The organization has an impressive number of successes in the European Court of Human Rights, United Nations, and other leading international courts and tribunals.