A US court has ruled that a Catholic hospital broke the law by refusing to carry out a hysterectomy on a transgender patient.
The University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center refused to undertake the procedure due to its religious beliefs.
A judge found that its refusal violated the Affordable Care Act and discriminated against the patient.
The hospital’s policy is guided by the National Catholic Bioethics Center which prohibits such procedures for gender dysphoria.
The judge ruled the facility could not defend its actions under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because it receives federal funds.
The hospital is reviewing the decision after saying it disputes many of the court’s conclusions.
It supported the patient’s efforts to receive the highest quality healthcare and offered an alternative location for the operation.
The patient opted to undergo the surgery at another hospital.
The hospital explained: “The legal claim stemmed from a surgeon mistakenly scheduling an operation that could not be performed at the hospital.”
Other US courts have previously prevented the Biden administration from forcing religious organisations to provide or cover gender transition surgeries.