Transgender lawsuit could affect Catholic hospital’s religious liberty

source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/12/transgender-lawsuit-catholic-hospital-religious-li/

Jionni Conforti poses for The Associated Press in his home, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, in Totowa, N.J. The transgender man has sued St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., after he says it cited religion in refusing to allow his surgeon to perform a hysterectomy procedure he said was medically necessary as part of his gender transition. Conforti, had scheduled the surgery in 2015, but he alleges in the federal lawsuit that a hospital administrator then told him the procedure to remove the uterus he was born with couldn't be done because it was a "Catholic hospital." (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Case pits hysterectomy candidate against St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in New Jersey

- Catholic News Agency - Thursday, January 12, 2017

Paterson, N.J. - A Catholic hospital faces an anti-discrimination lawsuit for cancelling a surgery to remove a uterus from a female who identifies as a man. The surgery was meant to treat gender dysphoria.

“This case involves whether a Catholic hospital can be compelled to perform a procedure that violates its sincerely-held religious beliefs,” Matt Sharp, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, told CNA.

“Our nation has long provided broad exemptions for organizations like this – for example, protecting them against being compelled to perform abortions,” he added. “Those same protections should extend to organizations that decline to be part of the procedures like the one sought here – procedures that not only raise religious concerns, but that many doctors and psychiatrists also believe pose serious long-term risks to the patients.”

Sharp spoke in response to the legal case of Jionni Conforti, who had scheduled a hysterectomy at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J. in 2015. The hospital canceled the procedure on the grounds it would violate the ethical and religious directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Conforti’s lawsuit said a surgeon at the medical center had initially approved the surgery, which removes a uterus, as had Medicaid. However, a hospital administrator later barred it.

“I felt completely disrespected,” Conforti said, according to the Associated Press.