A department under the Biden administration has restored an Obama-era policy previously ended under President Donald Trump that will require hospitals to perform “gender reassignment” or “sex change” procedures and other transgender medical services. If hospitals or care providers refuse, they will be subject to anti-discrimination lawsuits.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced earlier this week that its Office of Civil Rights will now include sexual orientation and gender identity in their interpretation and enforcement of laws prohibiting discrimination based on sex.
HHS cited Bostock v. Clayton County, a 6-3 US Supreme Court decision in which it was ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against discrimination because they are gay or transgender, in its announcement.
“The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the statement. “Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences. It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”
“The mission of our Department is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. All people need access to healthcare services to fix a broken bone, protect their heart health, and screen for cancer risk,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, the first transgender person to be confirmed as assistant secretary for health. “No one should be discriminated against when seeking medical services because of who they are.”
Just days before the Bostock ruling last year, the Trump administration indicated that “sex” in Title IX refers to one’s biological or birth sex, a reversal of a rule under President Barack Obama’s HHS that interpreted the Affordable Care Act to include protections against discrimination for gay and transgender people. A federal judge, however, blocked the rule from going into effect.
Now, under President Biden, that rule is gone and hospitals, clinics, and other care providers can once again be sanctioned by the government if they refuse to provide procedures such as hysterectomies or hormone replacement to transgender individuals.
Several conservative watchdogs reacted in dismay to the announcement.
“Make no mistake: the policy announced by HHS today is not about ‘fix[ing] a broken bone’ or ‘screen[ing] for cancer risk.’ No American was being denied access to these treatments for identifying as ‘LGBTQ,'” American Principles Project President Terry Schilling said in a statement. “Rather, this policy is really about forcing hospitals and medical professionals to adhere to leftist ideology regarding sexuality and gender—and in particular to provide sex-change procedures to all comers, including children.”
If you appreciate the work we are doing to fight the leftist assault on our values, please consider a small donation to help us continue. Thank you so much!