The three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit released the unanimous decision on Friday in the case of Franciscan Alliance, Inc. et al. v. Xavier Becerra, upholding the lower court’s permanent injunction against the mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Just months ago HHS issued the 2022 Notice, which warned covered entities like Franciscan Alliance that refusing to offer gender-reassignment surgeries violates Section 1557,” Circuit Judge Don Willett wrote.
“HHS has also repeatedly refused to disavow enforcement against Franciscan Alliance. In its brief on appeal, HHS simply says it ‘has not to date evaluated’ whether it will enforce Section 1557 against Franciscan Alliance — in other words, it concedes that it may,” he added.
Becket, the legal firm representing the case, celebrated the victory in a statement released on Friday.
“This ruling is a major victory for conscience rights and compassionate medical care in America,” Joseph Davis, counsel at Becket, shared.
“Doctors cannot do their jobs and comply with the Hippocratic Oath if the government requires them to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical expertise,” he added.
Franciscan Alliance, the Catholic healthcare network in Indiana and…