A federal judge struck down an Obama administration mandate requiring doctors to perform gender transition procedures, deeming it in violation of conscience protections for medical professionals.
Tuesday’s order, a response to lawsuits by an association of medical professionals filed soon after the mandate went into effect, confirms two prior rulings against the regulation. The mandate was implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2016, toward the end of the Obama administration, and required doctors to perform sex reassignment procedures on any patient referred to them by a mental health professional. Doctors who refused to do the procedures because of moral objections risked losing their job.
Tuesday’s decision by the U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern Division of Texas contends the regulation infringed on the conscience rights of doctors morally opposed to sex reassignment surgery. Two federal courts ruled similarly in 2016 that the mandate violated conscience rights.