As we reported last week, transgender civil rights have come under attack in the federal courts. One of these lawsuits not only targets transgender individuals but also women seeking reproductive healthcare. Texas and four other states filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and a network of religiously affiliated hospitals, taking direct aim at Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, a non-discrimination provision that protects against denial of healthcare services based on sex.
Unhappy that the regulations do not include a new religious exemption, the states seek to carve one out through the courts. Any exemption, however, would result in discrimination and endanger people’s health and well-being. Religious freedom is fundamental, but religion is no excuse to harm others.
Jessica Mason Pieklo of Rewire details the assault on Section 1557.
The gist of the complaint is that despite their deep commitment to delivering health care to “every human person,” these organizations do not want to treat certain people or conditions. Specifically, these groups are arguing for the legal right to refuse to provide necessary medical care to LGBTQ people and women simply based on who they are. And because Section 1557 does not have a religious carve-out to allow them to discriminate in the delivery of care, conservative lawmakers are going to help them sue to try and get one.