A spokesman for an organization dedicated to monitoring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and holding it accountable to its mission of furthering the health and well-being of all Americans says the Biden administration is moving too fast and "without process" to impose a "lawless" transgender mandate on the nation.
The issue began in 2016 with what the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and other organizations refer to as the "transgender mandate" under President Obama. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) changed the definition of sex in their sex discrimination statute to refer to those who were transgendered or regardless of any kind of sexual orientation.
CMDA was opposed to that and was later involved in and won a federal lawsuit against it.
"Our greatest fear is this will force doctors into gender transition procedures, which we believe are harmful, and so we are opposed to this new ruling," says Dr. Jeff Barrows, senior vice president of bioethics and public policy for CMDA.
"In 2019, President Trump reversed that policy, redefining sex discrimination on the basis of biological sex," Barrows continues. "So this decision announced today by the Biden administration is simply going back to a previous ruling by Obama's administration, and it is something we oppose."
The CMDA does not believe there is widespread discrimination "for normal care for those who may identify as a sexual minority be it gay or lesbian or transgender."
"I think the action, in short, is lawless," says Roger Severino, senior fellow and director of the HHS Accountability Project at the Ethics & Public Policy Center and a former director of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Trump. "We spent years working on the regulation to roll back the transgender mandate following the proper legal process, which requires input from the public -- hundreds of thousands of comments that we read, we digested, we analyzed, and we responded to [before] we came to our conclusions and undid the transgender mandate."
With what Severino calls "the wave of a hand and the flick of the wrist," the new government and HHS leaders are saying all of that was unnecessary.
"They've decided to impose a transgender mandate that would risk taking away federal funds from doctors and scientists that recognize the biological realities of sex being male and female."
Severino says the implications of that for medicine and science are astounding.
"Now they have this loaded gun at people's heads saying that they're going to risk losing federal funds, which would be Medicare or Medicaid, if they don't go along with this new transgender ideology," notes Severino. "It's a sad day, and it's frankly surprising that they're moving this fast without any process whatsoever."