Rules to protect transgender and abortion related health care issues were set to go into effect today, however, a Texas federal judge issued a nationwide injunction preventing enforcement.
Paxton's January 1 press release announcing the injunction, claims that "Not only does it require taxpayers to fund all treatments created to transition to a different sex, it also forces health care workers, including physicians, to provide controversial services". They prayed to the court to stop the federal government from enforcing the regulation.
Unless, of course, it's a constitutional right or a doctor's "best medical judgment" he doesn't agree with, like the right to marriage equality or reproductive decisions. The rule applies to health care providers, including hospitals and doctors that accept federal dollars and insurance plans offered through the federal marketplace. For the following reasons, the Court concludes that jurisdiction is proper, the regulation violates the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") by contradicting existing law and exceeding statutory authority, and the regulation likely violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA") as applied to Private Plaintiffs.
The rule in dispute on Saturday was adopted by the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department to implement those provisions, including definitions for sex discrimination that encompassed transgender and abortion services.
The health care providers and the state are claiming that the federal government is redefining the term "sex" to "thwart decades of settled precedent" and impose "massive new obligations" on health care providers.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized that sex discrimination takes many forms, and our nation's expansive and unyielding nondiscrimination laws necessarily reach sex discrimination whenever and wherever it strikes", Young said in a statement Saturday.
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The states of Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Wisconsin joined with religiously affiliated medical groups (the Franciscan Alliance, Specialty Physicians of IL, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations) to sue the Obama administration over the rules in August.
However, the rule does not indicate that the healthcare providers could claim exemptions under existing federal religious freedom laws.
Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, called the decision "another predictable, baseless ruling by a judge who state officials sought out specifically because he could be relied on to deliver a ruling hostile to transgender people".
The incoming administration of Donald Trump is expected to be hostile to protections for reproductive and transgender health.
That lawsuit centered on a federal directive requiring schools to let transgender students use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.