Under the Obama Administration’s directives, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has attempted to redefine “sex” to include “gender identity.”

This means that under the Affordable Care Act, doctors would be forced to perform gender reassignment surgeries. Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Kansas have filed a lawsuit to challenge these mandates.

Controversial Treatments for Gender Dysphoria

Gender Dysphoria is the condition of feeling one's emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one's biological sex.Gender dysphoria is “the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex.”

The controversial treatment for gender dysphoria, recommended by some health professionals including the Obama Administration, is for afflicted individuals to “transition.”

In simple terms, transitioning is when an individual makes changes to try to live as the opposite sex. Sometimes steps can include extreme surgeries to alter their external genitalia or doses of opposite sex hormones to alter their appearance to be more like that of the opposite sex.

Children with gender dysphoria are sometimes placed on “puberty blockers” to postpone puberty and later cross-sex hormones to begin their transition earlier.

The Science is Far From Settled

Health professionals disagree on what the appropriate treatments are for people with gender dysphoria.

For many health care professionals, the science is far from settled. Long term studies indicate that though transitioning provides a temporary emotional reprieve for individuals suffering from gender dysphoria, it’s not a long term solution.

Psychiatrists from around the world have rejected cosmetic changes as a solution to gender dysphoria. Dr. Joseph Berger, a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, believes gender dysphoria is a psychological issue. “The proper treatment of emotional unhappiness is not surgery,” said Dr. Berger.

A recent report co-authored by Dr. Lawrence Meyer and D r. Paul McHugh found that only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.

This experience is confirmed by actor Rupert Everett who has expressed concern over hormone therapy for children. The Guardian reported that Everett said, “I really wanted to be a girl. Thank God the world of now wasn’t then, because I’d be on hormones and I’d be a woman. After I was 15 I never wanted to be a woman again.”

Lawsuit Challenges Mandates to Protect Conscience

The government should not dictate to health professionals what procedures they must perform.

Nebraska has joined four states in suing the Obama administration to protect the conscience rights of health professionals.

>> Federal Judge in Texas Temporarily Blocks Transgender Guidelines

No doctor, surgeon, psychiatrist or health professional should be forced to perform controversial procedures that violate their conscience or may harm their patients.

In an interview with the Daily Signal Luke Goodrich, a lawyer at the Becket Fund, said it well: “It’s a very rare moment in history when the government would force doctors to go against their conscience and their medical judgment and perform procedures that may be deeply harmful to patients.”


Nate Grasz

Nate Grasz

Policy Director
Nate is the Policy Director at Nebraska Family Alliance and host of the Capitol Report program.