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ADF to 9th Circuit: Don't force health insurance providers to cover dangerous body-altering procedures


The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding a friend-of-the-court brief ADF attorneys filed Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on behalf of Christian Employers Alliance in Pritchard v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. A district court judge misinterpreted a provision in the Affordable Care Act to force health insurance plans to cover dangerous procedures that deny biological reality and seek to alter a person’s body to match their gender identity:

“Those struggling with gender dysphoria deserve our compassion and thoughtful care. But that doesn’t require rewriting federal statutes and rewiring our national health care system to force religious employers to cover experimental procedures that patients often regret. Businesses and administrators routinely exclude sex-specific procedures from their health insurance plans because of these procedures’ risks, not because of who requests them. The district court ruling is a faulty interpretation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and forces health insurance plans across America to cover dangerous, harmful, and experimental health procedures. We urge the 9th Circuit to reverse the lower court ruling and allow doctors to follow their oath to do no harm and treat patients as their conscience and expertise allows.”

In a separate case in March, a federal district court ruled in favor of Christian Employers Alliance and prohibited the Biden administration from forcing religious employers and health care providers to violate their religious beliefs by paying for and performing the same types of harmful procedures involved in this case.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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John Bursch
John Bursch
Senior Counsel, Vice President of Appellate Advocacy
John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom.