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Religious conscience, medical judgment notch another legal victory

In a unanimous decision on Friday, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the administration’s controversial plan to force doctors to perform “gender transition” procedures and abortions against their conscience and medical judgment.

The plaintiffs in Franciscan Alliance, Inc. et al. v. Xavier Becerra (Franciscan Alliance, Christian Medical and Dental Society, and Specialty Physicians of Illinois, L.L.C.) were represented by the religious liberty law firm Becket. In a tweet, Becket attorney Luke Goodrich described the court decision against the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate as “a win for common-sense, conscience, and sound medical judgment!”

He also explained the ruling protects patients, aligns with current medical research, and ensures doctors are not forced to violate their religious beliefs and medical judgment.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, points out this effort by the Biden HHS dates back to the Obama administration. “This administration is another extension of the Obama administration,” he says, “and both of these administrations, particularly this one under Biden, are exceptionally hostile to religious freedom when it comes to abortion and the LGBTQ agenda.”

As Staver has pointed out many times in similar legal battles, the federal government should never force people to violate the first rule of medicine (to do no harm) or their faith – “especially if they are required to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical judgment.”

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