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A federal judge in Mississippi has ordered a nationwide injunction blocking a new Biden administration rule from forcing states to use taxpayer dollars to pay for harmful puberty blockers, hormones, and mutilating surgeries.

Fifteen states sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) alleging its new Final Rule would require state health care plans to pay for “unproven and costly” procedures that can harm and mutilate a person. According to the ruling, the judge sided with the states, which alleged that the HHS was attempting to form a “regime” of health regulators committed to “gender ideology over medical reality,” and applied the injunction to all states.

This ruling marks the fourth federal court in the last several weeks to strike down Final Rules from the Biden administration. In May 2024, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) modified its Title IX Final Rule by redefining the word “sex” to include gender identity expanding sex-based discrimination protections. The Title IX Final Rule attempts to force women to share private spaces with gender-confused males in schools and colleges receiving federal dollars. Since June, three U.S. district judges have blocked the DOE from enforcing that redefinition of “sex” across 14 states, such as Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Though separate from the DOE’s Title IX rule, HHS’ new rule also operates as if the definition of “sex” includes gender identity. The 15 plaintiff-states alleged that the rule would have empowered those with gender confusion to decry sex discrimination for being denied insurance coverage for “gender-transition” procedures. The states claimed the rule would force state health care plans – under a threat of losing billions of dollars in federal funding – to pay for these “interventions” that cause “irreversible” harms on gender-confused children.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola applied his injunction to all 50 states, so they do not have to use taxpayer dollars for gender procedures. Judge Guirola stated HHS’ new Final Rule threatened the states with “irreparable harm” from incurring “substantial costs” to implement an “evolving” definition of “sex” that Congress has not approved.

“A ‘statute cannot be divorced from the circumstances existing at the time it was passed, and from the evil which Congress sought to correct and prevent,’” wrote Judge Guirola. “Consequently, this Court cannot accept the suggestion that Congress, with a ‘clear voice,’ adopted an ambiguous or evolving definition of ‘sex’ when it acted to promote educational opportunities for women in 1972.”

Judge Guirola noted the Biden administration was attempting to stretch the definition of sex beyond its limits.

“HHS acted unreasonably…to conflate the phrase ‘on the basis of sex’ with the phrase ‘on the basis of gender identity,’” wrote Judge Guirola. “Interpreting the word ‘sex’ to include gender identity would create contradictions and ambiguity within Title IX and its regulations.”

Judge Guirola concluded the costly implementation of the new “gender identity” rule favors keeping “the status quo” of keeping sex defined strictly by biology and keeping state health care funds in control of the states without undue influence from the federal government.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Taxpayers should never have to fund this radical agenda that harms people. These injunctions show forcing gender ideology into health care plans is detached from biological reality and infusing ‘gender identity’ into law lacks merit.”

For more information about state laws protecting against gender ideology, visit Liberty Counsel’s website here.

Author: Liberty Counsel


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