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Right-wing medical groups sue over transgender healthcare rule

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The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) and the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) are suing the Biden Administration over the reversal of a Trump rule allowing healthcare providers to refuse to treat LGBTQ patients.

In a press release from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a right-wing legal group representing the organizations, the plaintiffs claim the new rule requires them to provide transition-related healthcare.

“The law and the medical profession have long recognized and respected the biological differences between boys and girls and the unique needs they each present in health care. Forcing doctors to prescribe transition hormones for 13-year-olds or perform life-altering surgeries on adolescents is unlawful, unethical, and dangerous,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert in the release.

No medical organization calls for hormone prescriptions or surgery for transgender teen-agers and pre-teens. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) calls for gender-affirming care, but only recommends puberty blockers when needed. The ACP split from the AAP over issues of abortion and LGBTQ healthcare in 2002.

The reversal, which Biden did on the same day he was inaugurated, reinstated protections for LGBTQ under Title VII, including healthcare.

The AAP was one of six organizations to denounce the Trump rule when it was proposed in 2019.

“We oppose any laws and regulations that discriminate against transgender and gender diverse individuals,” the organizations said in 2019.

The organizations said rolling back the protections would impede access to care and allow discrimination against vulnerable populations. “Transgender patients often cite stigma and discrimination as the primary barriers in accessing treatment, which leads to higher health care costs and poorer outcomes,” the groups said in their 2019 statement.

Joining the AAP in the protest were the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association and American Psychiatric Association. All together they represent more than 600,000 medical professionals.

The two medical associations filing suit in American College of Pediatricians v. Becerra together represent 3,000 physicians and health professionals.

This lawsuit comes just a couple of weeks after a federal court in Texas ruled in favor of a Catholic heath network that refused to provide gender-affirming care despite an anti-bias provision in the Affordable Care Act. The case is filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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