A federal appeals court has blocked the implementation of a Department of Health and Human Services rule requiring medical facilities to provide gender transition surgeries and abortions and health insurers to cover them, even if they hold religious objections to either procedure.
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit released a unanimous decision last Friday in the case of Franciscan Alliance, Inc. et al. v. Xavier Becerra, upholding a lower court’s permanent injunction against the HHS mandate.
In March, HHS issued guidance declaring that “federally-funded covered entities restricting an individual’s ability to receive medically necessary care, including gender-affirming care, from their health care provider solely on the basis of their sex assigned at birth or gender identity likely violates Section 1557” of the Affordable Care Act. The appeals court panel agreed that the plaintiffs, which included a network of faith-based healthcare providers, had valid concerns over being harmed by the HHS mandate.