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Biden HHS Reverses Trump-Era Policy, Redefines 'Sex' to Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

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It might sound like just more eye-rolling liberal nonsense, but it’s much worse than that.

On Monday, President Joe Biden’s administration redefined “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s a move Democrats claim will prevent discrimination, but it has serious implications for doctors upholding their ethical and moral standards in medical decisions, as well as regulations of abortion.

Naturally, the administration portrays it all as a matter of fairness.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a department news release.

“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences. It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone – including LGBTQ people – should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”

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The Biden administration’s decision reverses a Trump-era policy of defining gender as being assigned at birth.

According to The Daily Caller, a judge blocked the implementation of the Trump rule, which involved excising portions of Obamacare.

Under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (the official name for Obamacare), discrimination against “race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities” is prohibited.

Under the Obama administration, for the purposes of sex discrimination, sex was defined as “one’s internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.”

Is this change actually discrimination against those who disagree with the liberal agenda?

Abortion coverage was also considered an issue of sex discrimination under Obamacare.

Trump’s policy, according to The Daily Caller, “ordered the government to interpret sex discrimination according to the ‘plain meaning as written, instead of attempting to use regulations to override Congress’s determinations.’”

It also clarified that sex discrimination does not include coverage of abortions, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation report from June 2020.

These rollbacks have now been rolled back themselves, with major implications for health care providers.

“The mission of our department is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. All people need access to health care services to fix a broken bone, protect their heart health, and screen for cancer risk,” Dr. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health, said in the department news release.  “No one should be discriminated against when seeking medical services because of who they are.”

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The Supreme Court case referenced in the HHS news release here is the 2020 Bostock v. Clayton County decision, in which a gay man who was fired — ostensibly for his sexual orientation — sued under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court held on a 6-3 vote that sexual orientation and transgender status were covered under “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, according to Oyez.

“[The Office of Civil Rights’] mission is to protect people from all forms of discrimination,” said acting OCR director Robinsue Frohboese in the HHS news release.

“OCR will follow Supreme Court precedent and federal law, and ensure that the law’s protections extend to those individuals who are discriminated against based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The problem is, that’s not entirely what this is about.

Monday’s announcement had to do with patient care, not employment. In the employment arena, while there are a small subset of employers that might have been affected by Bostock, it still remains small. The number of medical practitioners and religious hospitals affected by Monday’s announcement is likely quite a bit larger.

And it’s not about discrimination against any individual involving medical care. It’s about infusing politics into what should be medical decisions.

Terry Schilling, president of the American Principles Project, a conservative think tank, outlined one scenario for the Daily Caller News Foundation:

The parents of a 15-year-old girl with gender dysphoria take her to a doctor who performs mastectomies. If the doctor refused to perform the operation because the girl’s breasts were healthy, he could be sued on civil rights grounds, Schilling told the DCNF.

He said a similar scenario could involve doctors who won’t prescribe puberty blockers for children who claim gender dysphoria, according to the DCNF.

In a statement in June 2020, according to Breitbart, after the Trump administration issued its rule removing gender identity from the definition of “sex” and declaring that abortion was not a matter of sexual discrimination, the Catholic Association policy adviser Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie said that if the Trump administration hadn’t changed Section 1557, it would have been “impossible” for doctors to refuse to perform “ethically problematic procedures (like late-term abortion) and experimental and dangerous ones (like the removal of healthy organs from young patients with gender dysphoria).”

“Preventing ‘discrimination on the basis of sex’ was intended to ensure that women are treated on a par with men,” Christie said.

“Changing the definition of sex to mean ‘gender identity’ and to include unfettered access to abortion would not have protected the vulnerable.”

And that’s where we are now. If we don’t think the Biden administration is going to test the waters on this, we’re kidding ourselves.

This isn’t just erasing the boundaries between what constitutes a man and a woman or whether or not abortion constitutes health care. The left has done perfectly well with culturally messaging these facts.

This, however, throws down the gauntlet before any doctor with religious, ethical or moral qualms against procedures like late-term abortion, gender reassignment surgeries, prescribing puberty blockers and hormones to minors and other problematic medical treatment that contravene biblical doctrine and, for some, ethical boundaries.

Instead, it tells them those boundaries are discrimination and their refusal is bigotry.

This is the administration of Joe Biden, a “moderate” who we’ve been incessantly told is a “devout Catholic.” He may have just co-signed a radical change of policy that forces pro-life Catholic doctors to perform late-term abortions and physicians who are opposed to puberty blockers for children to prescribe them.

I can’t speak to the faith of a man’s heart, but if you still think Biden is a “moderate,” you haven’t been paying attention.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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