A US Department has returned to the definition of sex as male or female rather than “one’s internal sense of gender”.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revised its policy, and now prohibits discrimination on the basis of biological sex instead of ‘gender identity’, and removes references to abortion.
This means that institutions which receive federal funding can no longer be forced to provide procedures such as abortions and gender reassignment surgery.
The HHS announced that it is “returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology”.
Mary Beth Waddell, Senior Legislative Assistant for the Family Research Council, said under the old rules “medical professionals could have been forced to facilitate gender reassignment surgeries and abortions – even if they believed this was a violation of their conscience or believed it harmful to the patient”.
Gregory Baylor, Senior Counsel for religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom, also welcomed the revision and highlighted the impact of turning away from the “objective concept of sex” in other areas such as female-only spaces and women’s sports.
He said: “Confirming the clear meaning of sex as grounded in human biology ensures that women will continue to have equal opportunities in sports, school, and work, and it protects the privacy rights of all Americans.”
Earlier this week, it was reported that the UK Government could be set to scrap plans to make it easier to change legal sex.
According to The Sunday Times, proposals for people to ‘self-identify’ will be abandoned and those wanting to change their birth certificate will still require a medical diagnosis.
Currently, anyone seeking to change sex must have lived for two years as a member of the opposite sex and have been medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria.