Sunday, August 28, 2016
One of the top guardians of American freedoms just entered the fight against the Obama administration’s insane excesses in the name of “trans rights.”
The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued rules telling doctors they can’t decline to perform gender-reassignment surgery on kids if it’s recommended by a “mental health professional.” Refusal could be a career-ender.
How crazy is the rule? Well, for starters, most trans teens identify differently later in life — yet reassignment surgery is often irreversible, and even less-radical procedures can be harmful, as HHS’ own medical experts note.
Not to mention that the Hippocratic Oath (and basic human conscience) enjoins doctors from doing procedures they believe harmful to their patients.
On top of that, the rule also orders private insurers and employers to cover the procedures — even though Medicare and Medicaid, which HHS oversees, don’t.
Headed to court to toss the HHS rule is the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is undefeated before the Supreme Court — capped by four wins when going up against the Obama administration.
Becket’s clients of record here include Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network, and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations; five states have also joined the lawsuit.
It seems an open-and-shut case: How can HHS possibly justify ordering a doctor to perform a surgery he believes harmful?
Even the mandate to employers and insurers is a clear overreach. If the rule stands, those who won’t cover gender-transition procedures will face severe penalties — yet HHS has no basis in federal law for declaring this to be essential medical care.
Indeed, a federal judge recently blocked another Team Obama trans-rights offensive for similar reasons.
The Education Department wants to withhold federal funds from schools that don’t recognize trans kids’ right to choose which bathrooms and locker rooms to use. But that, US District Judge Reed O’Connor found, utterly misreads Congress’ clear intent in banning “sex discrimination” in schools.
Bottom line: The administration is trying to impose its own trendy ideology across the land — in defiance of the law, science and democratic norms. Every friend of liberty should be fighting back.