Federal appeals court bars Biden administration from forcing Catholic groups to provide transgender care

A federal appeals court on Friday permanently blocked the Biden administration from requiring religious doctors and hospitals to perform transgender medical services that violate their conscience, becoming the second court to do so.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in Sisters of Mercy v. Becerra, a case concerning a coalition of Catholic groups who have challenged the Biden administration’s attempt to invoke the Affordable Care Act to prohibit doctors and hospitals from discriminating against transgender patients. The Catholic groups, which include hospitals, a university and nuns who run health clinics, say the Biden administration’s rule violates their free exercise of religion.

An August ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals similarly held that the federal government cannot force Christian medical organizations to perform abortions or gender transition surgeries under the Affordable Care Act.

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