The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed on Friday to reverse an Obamacare mandate that bars discrimination against transgender patients.
“When Congress prohibited sex discrimination, it did so according to the plain meaning of the term, and we are making our regulations conform,” Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights, said in a statement. “The American people want vigorous protection of civil rights and faithfulness to the text of the laws passed by their representatives.”
The HHS had issued a new rule in 2016 with regard to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act — which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities” — by extending the definition of “sex” to include “gender identity” and termination of a pregnancy.
A federal court issued an injunction against the new rule in January 2017 after several states and healthcare entities filed lawsuits, arguing that the mandate would force faith-based providers to perform sex change surgeries and other services that violate their beliefs.
While the injunction is still in effect today, the Trump administration is moving to roll back the 2016 provision.
Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek praised the Trump administration for going back to the “plain meaning of the word ‘sex.’”
“Congress has consistently used the word ‘sex’ in laws like Title VII, Title IX, and the Affordable Care Act to mean a person’s biological sex as male or female,” Fiedorek said. “Replacing the objective concept of sex with subjective gender identity, as some courts and the prior administrative have tried to do, has far-reaching consequences, including for women’s sports, school locker rooms, and homeless women’s shelters.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sheryl Lynn