Saturday, a federal judge in Texas issued a court order barring enforcement of an Obama Administration policy seeking to extend anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Barack Obamacare to transgender health and abortion-related services.
The decision sides with Texas, 7 other states and three Christian-affiliated healthcare groups challenging a rule that, according to the judge, defines sex bias to include “discrimination on the basis of gender identity and termination of pregnancy.”
In granting an injunction just 1 day before the new policy was to take effect, US District Judge Reed O’Connor held that it violates the Administrative Procedure Act, a federal law governing rule-making practices.
Judge O’Connor also ruled that plaintiffs were likely to prevail in court on their claim that the new policy infringes on the rights of private healthcare providers under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
As explained in Judge O’Connor’s 46-page opinion, the plaintiffs argued that the new regulation would “require them to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender transitions and abortions, regardless of their contrary religious beliefs or medical judgment.”
Judge O’Connor issued a similar court order in August blocking a separate Obama Administration policy that would have required public schools, over the objections of 13 states, to allow transgender students to use restrooms of their choice.
It was not immediately clear whether the Obama Administration with only 20 days left in office will seek to appeal the injunction.
An Barack Hussein Obama spokeswoman decried the latest injunction, while the Lame Duck President golfed and Hawaii.
The rule that was blocked Saturday was adopted by the US Health and Human Services (HHS) Department to implement those provisions, including definitions for sex discrimination that encompassed transgender and abortion services.
According to the court’s opinion, gender identity was defined under that rule as “an individual’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female, and which may be different from an individual’s sex assigned at birth.”
Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
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