Wichita Falls, Texas — A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a Texas federal court’s ruling exempting a group of religious health care providers from the abortion and gender rights requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
In an 18-page opinion filed Friday, a panel of three judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a permanent injunction by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Wichita Falls.
Franciscan Alliance, Indiana and Illinois Catholic Hospital Network, Christian Medical & The National Dental Association and its 19,000 members have sued to block enforcement of ACA clauses they feared the Biden administration would require abortions and sex reassignment treatments to be performed.
In a ruling last August, O’Connor interpreted U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations to force plaintiffs to choose between beliefs and livelihoods, resulting in “irreparable harm.” .
The Fifth Circuit judgment was granted on HHS’s appeal of O’Connor’s injunction and applied only to the plaintiffs in this case. Plaintiffs, however, welcomed the decision to protect health care professionals across the country.
“This victory in Texas over government coercion will ensure that medical professionals continue to exercise medical judgment and ethical care based on sound medical evidence and Hippocratic standards of patient care, not on any ideology. means that you can do it.” Dental Association.
A message to the Justice Department, which represented HHS on the appeal, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.