canada africa partner reservation Florida sues Biden administration over new transgender health care rule | 104.1 WIKY

Florida sues Biden administration over new transgender health care rule | 104.1 WIKY

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By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) – Florida’s top prosecutor and a Catholic medical group sued the Biden administration on Tuesday in an effort to block a rule they say will force doctors to provide gender transition care against their judgment or face stiff penalties.

The lawsuit from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Catholic Medical Association (CMA), filed in federal court in Tampa, takes aim at a new rule published Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and that would prohibit discrimination in health care. based on gender identity.

The rule is based on an anti-discrimination provision within the Affordable Care Act, the national health insurance law known as Obamacare, that prohibits sex discrimination.

In their complaint, Moody and CMA say the new rule goes beyond anti-discrimination law. They say it would force doctors to provide treatments, including puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries for transgender minors and adults, against their medical or ethical judgment and to pay for insurance.

They also said the rule violated a Florida law that bans such treatments, known as gender-affirming care, for minors.

“These rules trample on states’ power to protect their own citizens and we will not stand by as Biden once again attempts to use the power of the federal government to unlawfully stifle Florida’s efforts to protect children,” Moody said in a statement .

The plaintiffs allege the rule is “arbitrary and capricious” under a federal law that governs agency regulations and violates physicians’ rights to freedom of speech and religion under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They ask the court for an injunction to block its execution.

HHS said it did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The agency and major medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have said gender-affirming care is medically necessary and potentially lifesaving, and have called restrictions on it discriminatory.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in a 2022 executive order directed federal agencies such as HHS to ensure access to gender-affirming care and prevent discrimination against transgender people.

Republican-led states, meanwhile, have passed a series of laws targeting transgender people, including bans on gender-affirming care for minors and restrictions on transgender students’ participation in sports.

Last week, a group of Republican states sued the administration over a rule that would ban schools and colleges that receive federal funds from discriminating against transgender students.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)