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Federal Judge Rules That a Catholic Hospital Broke the Law for Denying Transgender Surgery

AP Photo/Robin Rayne

A federal judge ruled Friday that a Catholic hospital in Maryland discriminated against a biological female patient who identifies as a transgender man by refusing to provide her with a hysterectomy. 

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Jesse Hammons, the transgender patient, was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit against the University of Maryland Medical System, which operates St. Joseph Medical Center, according to Baltimore-based outlet WBFF:

Hammons went to St. Joseph’s in 2019 seeking a hysterectomy to treat his gender dysphoria, a procedure used to remove a person’s uterus. The doctor Hammons saw approved the procedure and scheduled it for January 2020.

However, after Hammons’s doctor discussed the upcoming procedure with St. Joseph’s chief medical officer, it was determined the facility could not do such a procedure because it did not align with the ethical and religious directives it was required to follow.

Hammons was then told that the procedure could not be done. As a result, he went to a different hospital and received the procedure a few months later.

“This court has determined that undisputed facts establish that, as a matter of law, Defendants discriminated against Plaintiff on the basis of his sex,” District Court Judge Deborah Chasanow wrote in her ruling. She also wrote that the hospital refusing to perform the surgery violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws and that the hospital, which receives Medicare and Medicaid funding, violated a section of the Affordable Care Act. 

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In December, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit blocked Biden’s Health and Human Services department from enforcing finalized regulations pertaining to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act against several Catholic organizations, according to The Christian Post. The appeals court ruled that the Biden administration cannot force healthcare institutions with religious affiliations to pay for or provide irreversible transgender care, including surgeries. This came after Biden’s HHS’s interpretation of the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1557 deemed that “sex” includes “gender identity.” 

Last week, Townhall covered how a transgender worker in New Hampshire filed a lawsuit against his Christian employer for denying coverage for “gender-affirming” care, which includes hormone therapy treatments and sex reassignment surgery.

“She has needed, and continues to need, hormone replacement therapy, counseling, and medically recommended surgeries to treat her gender dysphoria,” the complaint said.

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