A judge has ruled against a Catholic-founded hospital in Maryland for refusing to perform a hysterectomy – removal of the uterus – on a “transgender” woman, saying it was gender discrimination.
Jesse Hammons, a woman who identifies as transgender, filed a lawsuit against St. Joseph's Medical Center in Towson, Maryland, claiming she was the victim of “discrimination” based on gender after the hospital refused to mutilate her with a hysterectomy she wanted to undergo as part of a “gender transition.”
The hysterectomy was scheduled for Jan. 6, 2020, but days before, the Catholic hospital said it would not perform the medical procedure under the “Catholic Health Services Guidelines” (HCDS) promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
In these guidelines, the bishops explain, the “direct sterilization of men or women is not permitted in a Catholic healthcare facility.” Direct sterilization means: motivated solely for the purpose of sterilization, and not for a medical cause such as uterine cancer. Moral theology calls this direct sterilization “mutilation.”
Faced with this refusal, Jesse Hammons filed a lawsuit against the hospital, which has received the support of the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC). The Center argued that “gender transition, whatever it is, is inherently disordered.”
The NCBC adds that such procedures are not “consistent with the true good of the human person, which is a union of body and soul unalterably created as male or female.” They concluded, “Gender transition should never be effected, encouraged, or positively affirmed as a good in Catholic health care.”
However, Senior District Court Judge for Maryland, Deborah K. Chasanow, sided with Hammos and strongly criticized the ethics presented by NCBC, calling it “discriminatory.”
In her ruling, the judge found that the facts “demonstrate that the decision to refuse Ms. Hammons' hysterectomy under a policy prohibiting gender-sensitive care constitutes discrimination on the basis of her sex.”
Joseph Meaney, president of the NCBC, stressed that this ruling presents a capital danger for Catholic hospitals in the United States, because these health centers “are going to be coerced and legally attacked for not providing transgender interventions.” Then stating, “Being required to do transgender interventions would be, in effect, the destruction of Catholic health care. So it is extremely serious,” Meaney said.
If this judgment were to be confirmed in the future, it would indeed be a serious danger for Catholic care centers. In addition, this judgment goes against a recent promise by President Joe Biden, affirming that these care centers should not be worried, and that they would benefit from conscientious objection.
In any case, refusing an act of mutilation, an act which 30 years ago would have been condemned by heavy penalties, is judged today as an act of “discrimination.”