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ADF arguing on behalf of Catholic doctors in Florida lawsuit over redefinition of 'sex' in federal law

Hearing in federal district court Friday
The Biden administration is pushing to redefine 'sex' in the civil rights law known as Title IX to include 'gender identity.'

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT: Arguing at hearing in State of Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services

WHEN: Hearing begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT, Friday, June 21

WHERE: U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa.

TAMPA, Fla. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be arguing on behalf of Catholic doctors Friday at a hearing in federal district court in State of Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services. The state of Florida and the Catholic Medical Association are challenging the federal agency’s rule change that forces medical professionals and insurance providers to perform or pay for harmful “gender-transition” procedures or face severe financial consequences. ADF attorneys joined Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody in filing suit against the Biden administration’s unlawful rule the same day it was published.

The administration’s rule change, published in May, redefines “sex” in federal health care nondiscrimination law to include “gender identity.” As announced, the rule change forces CMA members to lose federal funding and risk severe penalties for treating and referring to patients by their sex. The rule also requires Florida to follow unscientific standards of care and limits the state’s power to set protective standards of care for health professionals.

“The Biden administration’s attempt to hijack the medical field is the latest example of its unlawful overreach,” said ADF Legal Counsel Allison Pope, who will be arguing before the court. “The HHS rule will harm those suffering from gender dysphoria, especially children, and punish doctors who seek to care for them. Medical professionals around the world and individuals who have undergone these experimental, body-altering procedures warn about their risks. Yet the administration is choosing ideology over science by coercing doctors to perform these dangerous, often sterilizing procedures to make people appear as the opposite sex. This rule change also contradicts legal precedent set by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. For all these reasons, we are urging the district court to halt the administration’s inappropriate and illegal rule change.”

Florida and the Catholic Medical Association argue that the administration’s rule change abuses its regulatory powers under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to force health care and medical insurance providers to classify body-altering and dangerous procedures as necessary treatment.

The Catholic Medical Association is the largest association of Catholic individuals in health care with about 2,500 members nationwide in all fields of practice. CMA has a Florida statewide guild called the Florida Catholic Medical Association and seven local guilds located throughout the state.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Allison Pope
Legal Counsel
Allison Pope serves as legal counsel for the Center for Life at Alliance Defending Freedom, where she defends pro-life laws and organizations.