A California woman who identifies as a man has filed a lawsuit against a Catholic hospital and its parent company for prohibiting her surgeon from performing a sex change-related hysterectomy at the facility because of the organization’s religious convictions.
The 35-year-old woman, who goes by the name Evan Minton, had been scheduled to undergo a complete hysterectomy at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael last August. She believed the procedure was necessary to comport with her preferred identity.
However, the day before her appointment, after she noted to a nurse that she identifies as “transgender,” the surgery was canceled.
“In general, it is our practice not to provide sterilization services at Dignity Health’s Catholic facilities,” said spokeswoman Melissa Jue in a statement at the time.
Mercy San Juan President Brian Ivie informed Minton’s surgeon, Lindsey Dawson—who regularly performs hysterectomies at the facility—that perhaps she could instead obtain admitting privileges at nearby Methodist Hospital, which is still a part of the network, but non-Catholic.
Dawson was able to perform the operation at Methodist Hospital within a week, but because Mercy San Juan and Dignity Health would not permit the surgery at the Catholic hospital, Minton filed suit, alleging discrimination.
“I don’t blame the staff,” said Dawson. “I don’t blame the administrators. I blame the [Roman Catholic] doctrines.”
The ACLU asserts in its lawsuit that the denial is a violation of the state’s Unruh Act, which prohibits business establishments from discriminating against patrons on the basis of one’s gender. It is seeking a court order that would force the hospital to allow the procedures in the future.