Judge Breathes Life Into Religious Freedom


Left leaning online publications are treating U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision handed down over the weekend as a calamity, but in his verdict/opinion in the case of Franciscan Alliance v. Burwell, the judge determined that doctors may refuse to treat those who are transgender and women who have had abortions based on religious freedom ensured in the founding documents.

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In his verdict, Judge Reed O’Connor argued laws that would otherwise forbid gender-based discrimination require doctors “to remove the categorical exclusion of transitions and abortions (a condition they assert is a reflection of their religious beliefs and an exercise of their religion) and conduct an individualized assessment of every request for those procedures.” In other words, doctors would have to argue on an individual basis their refusal of a patient.

This requirement, O’Connor said, “imposes a burden” on doctors’ ability to exercise their religion.

O’Connor cited 2014’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling, which allowed family-owned corporations to refuse insurance coverage for birth control under the Affordable Care Act if it went against their religious beliefs.

And so it follows that health care providers who have a religious objection to abortion and sex reassignment, can also choose to not treat such individuals by proclamation, not on a case by case basis.

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O’Connor also justified his ruling by claiming that individual doctors’ refusal to treat trans patients or women who have had abortions does not limit their access to health care and coverage. He argued that the government doesn’t seem to be too concerned about specifically trans people’s access to health care anyway.

The government’s own health insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid, do not mandate coverage for transition surgeries; the military’s health insurance program, TRICARE, specifically excludes coverage for transition surgeries,” O’Connor wrote in his verdict.

This, of course, is a problem for the left in that the Affordable Care Act – neither affordable or caring – was supposed to eliminate discrimination of these sorts.  In 2014, when Burwell v. Hobby Lobby was handed down, no less than the New York Times recognized that if an exception was made for refusing to provide artificial hormonal birth control, sooner or later those who oppose many moral abominations on religious grounds would line up and sue to have an exemption declared. That has now happened, and the left is fairly quivering with rage.  Check out the arguments being used, and try not to throw anything at the screen:

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Minority religion?  Franciscan Affiliates is a Catholic group.  Since when are Christians, and traditional Christian beliefs, a minority in the USA?


The Franciscan Affiliates decision applies only to abortion and transgender individuals, but does open the door to arrow-right-next-pageadditional exemptions.  The matter is sure to be appealed to higher courts.


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