National Leaders Sound Alarm on Biden HHS Transgender ‘Sex’ Definition

US President Joe Biden speaks during a drive-in rally at Infinite Energy Center April 29, 2021, in Duluth, Georgia. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The American Principles Project (APP) and the Catholic League reacted Monday to the announcement by the Biden Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that it will interpret sexual discrimination in federal healthcare rules to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

The policy change reverses that of former President Donald Trump’s administration to restore the biology-based, male-female definition of sexual discrimination in federal healthcare regulations.

“Last fall, American Principles Project PAC produced an ad warning that promoting sex change treatments for children would become official government policy should Joe Biden be elected,” said APP President Terry Schilling said. “At the time, the ad was widely denounced in the media as ‘misinformation.’”

Schilling said, however, his organization’s concerns “have sadly been vindicated,” and cited the statement by transgender HHS Assistant Secretary Rachel (born Richard) Levine, who said:

The mission of our Department is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. All people need access to healthcare services to fix a broken bone, protect their heart health, and screen for cancer risk. No one should be discriminated against when seeking medical services because of who they are.

Schilling responded:

Make no mistake: the policy announced by HHS today is not about “fix[ing] a broken bone’ or ‘screen[ing] for cancer risk.” No American was being denied access to these treatments for identifying as “LGBTQ.” Rather, this policy is really about forcing hospitals and medical professionals to adhere to leftist ideology regarding sexuality and gender—and in particular to provide sex-change procedures to all comers, including children.

“We know this is not based in science,” Schilling said, referring to a report that one of Sweden’s largest hospitals announced it would no longer prescribe gender transition drugs to children under 16 because they were unable to fully comprehend the drugs’ effects.

“And last year, a High Court in the U.K. ruled against the country’s largest gender clinic due to doubt over the ability of children to consent to such ‘treatments,’” he noted.

“Yet, it is now apparently the policy of the US government that such treatments must be given to children or else healthcare institutions risk losing federal funding and being shut down,” Schilling continued. “This is a travesty, and must be opposed. Lawmakers in Congress and in the states should follow the lead of Arkansas and act to protect the health and well-being of children as well as the conscience rights of medical professionals.”

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said the Biden HHS announcement is essentially “a declaration of war on Catholic doctors and hospitals.”

The policy “would force doctors who can perform sex transition surgery to do so, regardless of their religious objections,” he added, and “will also be contested in the federal courts.”

Like Schilling, Donohue noted, “Catholic hospitals do not deny routine health care to transgender persons.”

“There is a difference between denying transgender persons treatment for Covid and forcing a Catholic doctor to make anatomical changes on the sexually confused,” he asserted.

Ryan Anderson, president of Ethics and Public Policy Center, questioned in a tweet, “[I]s this about mandating sex reassignment procedures?”

Donohue also observed how the “predictable” media are framing the Biden HHS policy as “an anti-discrimination measure, not as an attack on religious liberty.”

The decision “applies Title IX of civil rights law to the rights of transgender persons,” he asserted. “Title IX bars discrimination based on sex, but says nothing about transgender persons.”

Donohue further observed:

On President Trump’s last full day in office, January 19, a federal court struck down the transgender mandate forcing doctors to perform transgender surgeries. Last month, the Biden administration filed an appeal; it wants to deny religious exemptions. Now it is jumping the gun: Health and Human Services chief Xavier Becerra’s policy statement is seeking to do just that.

“The Biden administration’s war on Catholic hospitals is one of many policies it has promoted that endanger religious liberty,” Donohue concluded. “That they are being shoved down on our throats by a man who professes to be a ‘devout Catholic’ is all the more nauseating.”

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