While most Americans may not be aware of it, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services wields an incredible amount of power. In 2020, Medicare and Medicaid spending topped $1.5 trillion. Since the Obama presidency, the Office of Civil Rights has leveraged the enormous federal budget to reshape America’s legal landscape regarding radical transgender policies and abortion.
Obama’s 2016 Mandate Under Obamacare
During the Obama years, OCR was staffed with proponents of gender ideology and abortion supporters who used legal threats to withhold federal medicare and medicaid dollars from healthcare organizations as a way to force them to adopt radical policies.
One of the most contentious actions taken by OCR was a rule originally issued by the Obama administration that interpreted The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in a way that would have denied federal funding for religious healthcare providers and other organizations that objected to performing “sex-change” surgeries or refused to kill unborn children through abortion.
The Courts & Trump Admin Respond
During the Trump years, a federal court in Texas blocked enforcement of the Obama rule after religious healthcare providers sued the government for violations of their religious liberty rights.
Shortly after the federal court blocked the Obama rule, the Office of Civil Rights, under the new leadership of Trump appointee, Roger Severino, was able to pass a new rule, that in accordance with the federal court decision, reversed the Obama policies on abortion and transgenderism by reinforcing religious liberty protections.
Biden Admin Ignores the Courts
However, as soon as President Biden took office and restaffed OCR with Obama’s LGBT and abortion activists, they ignored the federal court decision and went right back to Obama’s interpretation of Obamacare in favor of forcing sex “changes” and abortion upon unwilling healthcare providers.
The Catholic healthcare organization, Franciscan Alliance, continued to pursue the case in federal courts arguing that the Biden administration could not simply ignore the previous federal court decision and go back to the Obama rule.
Court of Appeals Slaps Down the Biden Admin
On August 26th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion upholding the District Court opinion that struck down the Obama-Biden sex-change and abortion mandate.
The Biden administration had 90 days to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court but failed to do so, probably recognizing its low chance of success. This means the sex-change and abortion mandate will now be permanently blocked by the appellate court.
Pro-life Americans Must Remain Vigilant
However, the Biden administration continues to pursue an aggressive promotion of radical gender ideology and abortion and will undoubtedly continue to push the envelope to use obscure government rule-making to discriminate against pro-life and religious healthcare providers who refuse to violate their conscience by taking part in “sex-change” surgeries and abortion.