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Biden Administration Stops Pushing Gender Transition Care Mandate

July 12th, 2023

Missouri is being sued by religious leaders who want to overturn its abortion ban because it violates their religious beliefs.
One of the most contentious issues today is whether religious medical professionals should be forced to provide gender transition care.

The intersection of medical care and religious care has always been somewhat contentious. However, the medical world has a long history of involvement with various religions. The Knights Hospitallers gained fame during the medieval period for building hospitals throughout the known world while also participating in religious and military crusades. Nuns and other religious organizations have traditionally shown an interest in providing medical care to the general public – often free of charge. But while these religious organizations may be committed to providing medical care for others, they must also do so in a manner that matches their religious views.

One of the most contentious issues today is whether or not religious doctors and medical professionals should be forced to provide gender-transition care. This treatment conflicts with numerous religious teachings, including Catholicism. Doctors who adhere to these religious views find themselves in a moral quandary – unable to provide this specific type of care while also holding true to their own values. A recent decision by the Biden administration appears to have put this issue to rest – at least for the time being. 

Biden Allows Doctors to Step Away From Gender Transition Care

On June 22, 2023, Crux reported that the Biden administration had allowed religious doctors to refuse to provide gender-transition care on the basis of their views. While the administration didn’t make any outward effort to protect these religious rights, they did step away when given a chance to appeal a recent federal ruling. Essentially, this is a sign that they have given up on their efforts to force doctors to provide treatments that go against their religious views. The federal ruling from December now stands.

Meanwhile, bishops in the United States have finished voting on their bioethics guidelines for Catholic healthcare institutions – specifically covering the issue of gender transition care in the process. The bishops came to the conclusion that the biological distinction between male and female humans is a core tenet of Christianity and that any treatments that attempt to alter the body due to gender dysphoria are “not morally justified.” In an official statement, the bishops explained:

“Such interventions, thus, do not respect the fundamental order of the human person as an intrinsic unity of body and soul, with a body that is sexually differentiated. . . Catholic healthcare services must not perform interventions, whether surgical or chemical, that aim to transform the sexual characteristics of a human body into those of the opposite sex.”

What’s Next for Gender Transition Care?

It is worth mentioning that the Catholic church oversees about one in seven hospital beds in the United States. These developments could encourage doctors to seek work within Catholic organizations if they do not agree with gender-affirming treatments – whether they are Christian or not. One thing is clear: There is a delicate balance between freedom of religion and medical care. Something tells us that this debate is not over. Perhaps the Biden administration’s decision not to appeal the federal ruling should not be interpreted as capitulation but rather a tactical retreat before a renewed pushback. Either way, continue reading the Universal Life Church’s legal blog stay up to date on the latest developments.

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