Quote# 123454

On Saturday, a United States district judge ruled that doctors may turn away women who have had abortions and transgender patients on the basis of religious freedom.

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.

At the time, the New York Times predicted the 5-4 Supreme Court decision would "[open] the door to many challenges from corporations over laws that they claim violate their religious liberty." And, given O'Connor's interpretation of the decision, it seems the outlet was right.

Slate's Mark Joseph Stern called O'Connor's ruling "an extreme extension of the dubious logic" behind Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, as it flouts the nondiscriminatory guidelines of the Affordable Care Act and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Whereas they both include discrimination based on "gender identity" and "termination of pregnancy" under the umbrella of sex discrimination, O'Connor's ruling only acknowledges a more rudimentary definition of gender discrimination — "hostility against a man or woman for being a man or a woman," Stern wrote.

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.

O'Connor's ruling, though, will only continue to limit options for trans people and add fuel to the fire in terms of punishing women for their reproductive choices — objectives conservatives have been steadily working toward with the trans bathroom bill in North Carolina and a number of anti-abortion laws in other states.

With his ruling, O'Connor paved the way for even more discrimination on the grounds of religious freedom.

Reed O'Connor, Mic 32 Comments [1/4/2017 8:09:32 PM]
Fundie Index: 8
Submitted By: Demon Duck of Doom

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I'm somewhat torn, because I worry that if these doctors are SO adamant about their religious beliefs that they'd turn away a patient for these reasons, could they be deliberately sabotaging their patients' health when the law makes it illegal for them to refuse care?

1/4/2017 8:51:43 PM


What happened to the Hippocratic oath? Is there a clause somewhere in that that says 'unless you don't like the person'?

1/4/2017 8:53:37 PM

rubber chicken

Surely any Doctor who uses anything but prayer would be going against their religion ?

1/4/2017 9:15:48 PM


First do no harm. This would do harm. If they refuse patients they need to refer them to doctor who won't or lose license and practice

1/4/2017 9:21:39 PM


This is unconscionable. Refusal to treat a patient who needs medical care, FOR ANY REASON, is so much the opposite of the moral imperative of the Hippocratic oath that it should be considered grounds for stripping a physician of his license to practice, immediately.

1/4/2017 10:07:04 PM

Shepard Solus

Good to see the hippocratic oath is still going strong.

1/4/2017 10:24:16 PM


better hope your not a transman man or a women who controlled her own body in a small bible belt town with only one doctor, its in the doctors freedom to let you die. I'm curious if the rule applies to murderes too, or are they all good to provide medical care too?

Technically, isn't it in someones religous freedom to not suffer you to live if you live a lifestyle opposed to their beliefs?

1/4/2017 10:49:23 PM


When Trump promised he`s going to unite the families, bet ya no one was aware that he meant by legislating eqally vile laws!

States, welcome to Poland!

1/4/2017 11:14:45 PM

Pharaoh Bastethotep


Canada, could you please annex that distopia?

1/4/2017 11:41:18 PM


Can they also turn away men who have had blood transfusions on the basis of religious freedom? Or is it just women and trans people that should be punished?

In Sweden, you can’t become a midwife or OB/GYN if you refuse to perform abortions. Women’s reproductive rights trump people’s wish to have a certain job.

How is it imposing a burden on doctors to argue on an individual basis why they refuse a certain patient, due to their religion?
What about the much larger burden of being refused by the doctor?

Are Hobby Lobby stores open on the Sabbath? If so, then they are just hypocrites who want to punishing women. Do they also refuse insurance coverage for Viagra? For divorcees?

1/5/2017 1:47:07 AM


Reed O'Connor: "Doctors are now free to tell any patient 'I can't treat you, because God hates your kind and I have to comply with that to stay on His good side!' whenever they deem it necessary!!"

1/5/2017 2:25:54 AM

So basically doctors have reason not to do their job. And thus no reason to give them money. Didn't think this one through did you Reed?

1/5/2017 2:32:17 AM


Does this also apply to firemen? Sorry you have to wait an hour till you can get service from the other firetruck which isn't filled with assholes who care what your genitals have been doing.

America: protecting all the wrong kinds of freedoms.

1/5/2017 4:48:52 AM

Hasan Prishtina

@ rubber chicken

That was the topic of a dispute between Maimonides and the Doctors of Paris in the 11th century. The Parisians said that if God made you sick, it would be intervening in God's plan to intervene (they were teachers of theology, not medicine); Maimonides believed that God gave us the talent to heal, so it would be an insult not to use that for human good (Maimonides was a teacher of both medicine and theology).

@ Skide

It wasn't for nothing that the New York Times had a long piece just before the election called "The Party that Wants to Make Poland Great Again."

1/5/2017 4:57:37 AM

Doubting Thomas

I honestly fear that our country is moving backwards.

1/5/2017 6:33:56 AM

Irk Koalinski

States, welcome to Poland!

As a Pole, I find this 2accurate4me.

1/5/2017 6:34:22 AM

Doubting Thomas


Are Hobby Lobby stores open on the Sabbath? If so, then they are just hypocrites who want to punishing women.

Actually they're closed on Sundays.

1/5/2017 6:36:38 AM


What you are dying and only I can save you? Sorry you had an abortion when you were younger I refuse to help you.

No I don't think that will actually happen. Any doctor who is a real professional won't care if someone had an abortion or was born a different t gender then they are now. Any doctor that petty isn't worth time or money.

1/5/2017 6:39:07 AM


For what it's worth, the ruling covered refusal of abortion and transition, not a general refusal of service.

1/5/2017 6:53:38 AM


"And lo, he said unto us, treat not the woman that hath aborted, nor the person transitioning to a different gender. Serve them not, and treat them as pariahs"

The above is from the Fundie Bible. Sure as hell isn't in the one grandma gave me sitting on my shelf (and that's even the vaunted KJV).

What has people so convinced that "religious freedom" means "I get to be a bigoted dick whenever I want"?

1/5/2017 7:18:12 AM


Someone should find out what businesses and courts use the "religious freedom!!1" defense and vandalize them. It'll show them that their crimes against humanity won't go unpunished.

1/5/2017 8:16:46 AM


A doctor who relies on faith is cruisin' for a medical register strikin' off.

And a judge who has no concept of 'Malpractice Suits' has no place in a courtroom.

Judge John E. Jones made a landmark decision in 2005 that made teaching Cre(a)ti(o)nism in all accredited educational establishments in the US illegal: and he's a Conservative Christian. Personal 'Opinion' has no place in a hospital. Or a court.

But if you want to have your judgememt stiffie smacked down by the cold hard shovel of the SCOTUS, you go right ahead.


Someone should find out what businesses and courts use the "religious freedom!!1" defense and vandalize them

...or they can simply take them to court and legally destroy them. I refer you to those Christain bakers in Northern Ireland who lost their appeal, thus are now legally forced to serve customers who just happen to be couples of the same gender.

Moral: Property can be replaced. Egos & 'Pride' - especially that of fundies, when damaged: especially when they are legally cornered & thus left with no recourse - can't. I refer you to Kim Il-Davis.

You really are cruisin' for another quotin', aren't you? But retards never learn from their mistakes, I guess.

1/5/2017 9:05:20 AM


"I'm not a bigot, I'm just exercising my religious freedom (to be bigoted)!"

1/5/2017 9:42:27 AM

The Crimson Ghost

Truly mind boggling. Expect to see the mortality rate shoot up.

As fond as I am of my home state, will some kind hearted Canadian please consider adopting me? I'm not much of a cook but a damn good housekeeper. I have great taste in movies & music & am a good conversationalist. My rack is all mine, & I don't take up much space; just clothes & a handful of Hot Toys & Sideshow figures. I even come with my own iPad!

1/5/2017 10:32:36 AM


So what happens if an ER surgeon refuses to treat a trans person for no other reason than them being trans? These guys make it seem as if all medical procedure can afford to be delayed

1/5/2017 11:32:46 AM

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