Washington D.C., Mar 4, 2021 / 09:32 am (CNA).- Doctors can’t be forced to perform gender-transition surgeries against their conscientious beliefs, argued attorneys for doctors and hospitals on Wednesday before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Fifth Circuit judges heard oral arguments on Wednesday in Franciscan Alliance v. Cochran, the case of the federal “transgender mandate.” The mandate dates back to 2016, when the Obama administration interpreted a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to require procedures—such as gender-transitioning and abortions—to be available upon request.

The 2016 mandate did not include conscience exemptions, thus forcing almost all doctors and hospitals around the country to provide gender-transitioning procedures upon the referral of a mental health professional—regardless of their moral or professional opposition to doing so.

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