U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor struck down a rule requiring doctors to perform abortions and gender reassignment surgeries against their conscience on Monday.
O’Connor, who serves in the Northern District of Texas, granted a permanent injunction to the Obama-era rule in the case, resulting in freedom of conscience for medical professionals.
The rule, challenged by a Catholic hospital, was established years ago as a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to the opinion of the court.
Now, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra cannot require doctors “to perform or provide insurance coverage for gender-transition procedures or abortions,” O’Connor said in his conclusion.
Vice President and Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Luke Goodrich applauded the court’s conclusion in a tweet.
Today’s ruling protects patients, aligns with current medical research, and ensures doctors aren’t forced to violate their religious beliefs and medical judgment--a victory for common-sense, conscience, and sound medicine. fin/— Luke Goodrich (@LukeWGoodrich) August 9, 2021
This is not the first federal court to block this mandate, however, as a North Dakota federal court struck down the mandate back in January, according to Becket.
Consequently, the Biden administration appealed the North Dakota ruling to the Eighth Circuit Court in April of this year, Daily Caller reported.
Becket also noted the importance of striking down the mandate, as the move “protects patients, preserves the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship, and vindicates crucial conscience rights in medicine.”