NEW YORK — Five states and two religiously oriented health care groups say new federal regulations covering transgender patients could force doctors to perform procedures that violate their religious beliefs or medical judgment, NBC News and other outlets report.
Led by Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, they’ve gone to the same judge who earlier this week blocked the Obama administration from taking any action that would force public schools to allow students the choice of bathrooms that match their gender identity, the article said.
The issue in the prominent transgender cases now in court — including lawsuits over North Carolina’s bathroom law — is the same: does federal law that bars sex discrimination apply to distinctions based on gender identity or only based on the sex assigned at birth?
The latest lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Fort Worth by Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin, joined by the Christian Medical and Dental Association and the Franciscan Alliance, NBC reports.
They challenge a recent federal interpretation of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that bars discrimination on the basis of sex, which the new rule defines as a person’s “internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.”
According to the lawsuit, “the regulation forces doctors to perform controversial and sometimes harmful medical procedures ostensibly designed to permanently change an individual’s sex.” That’s so, it says, even when they are contrary to the doctor’s medical judgment or religious beliefs, the article said.