ACLU: Force Catholic hospital to aid in 'sex change'
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against a California-based nonprofit hospital chain because a Roman Catholic hospital declined to give a hysterectomy to a woman who said she identifies as male and was doing so in an attempt to assume a male physicality.
The lawsuit was filed against Dignity Health on behalf of Evan Minton, whom the Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, California denied a hysterectomy last August. Minton was slated for the surgery two days hence, but the hospital canceled it after Minton told the hospital that she is a transgender man during a pre-operation checklist.
Although the health system sent Minton to a different Dignity Health hospital, the ACLU contends that the Catholic hospital committed sex discrimination under the state's Unruh Civil Rights Act.
Minton had the surgery a few days later at a Methodist hospital in the chain.
One would think this would zip up the case. But the ACLU clearly wants to create a legal precedent to force Catholic hospitals to perform what amounts to elective sterilizations, which violate the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) as well as the hospital's medical staff bylaws.
Dignity Health, which operates 39 hospitals and more than 400 care centers in California, Arizona, and Nevada, said in a statement that it would not reply to allegations because they have not been served with the complaint, according to KCRA.com.
The Minton case is similar to other ACLU lawsuits in California aimed at forcing Catholic hospitals to sterilize women who claimed that having to have it done elsewhere was a hardship.
The ACLU is also attempting to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. In April 2016, the ACLU lost a lawsuit against the Trinity health system in Michigan, whose pro-life doctors refuse to do abortions. Writing in National Review, Jane Clark Scharl dissected the ACLU's abandonment of the idea of "choice" when it comes to this particular topic:
This lawsuit wasn't about 'choice' at all; it was about ensuring that medical professionals can't act on their beliefs if they clash with assumptions that are politically in vogue. Rather than invoke the old mantra that abortion is between a woman and her doctor, the ACLU did the opposite, arguing that the government should be involved in decisions for abortion by stipulating that others participate in them.
So for the ACLU, the idea of "choice" is so yesterday. Now it's "do it our way, or else."
Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.