Sisters of Mercy v. Azar

Becket Role:
Case Start Date:
November 7, 2016
Deciding Court:
District Court for the District of North Dakota
Original Court:
District Court for the District of North Dakota
Practice Area(s):


This case has been stayed pending new regulations to be issued by HHS.

Case Summary

A new regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would force doctors to perform gender transition procedures on children, even if the doctor believes the procedure could harm the child. Any doctor that declines to provide those procedures, citing sound medical evidence, would be in violation of the new mandate and face potential lawsuits or job loss.

A new website provides leading research on this issue, including guidance the government itself relies on demonstrating that up to 94 percent of children with gender dysphoria (77 to 94 percent in one set of studies and 73 to 88 percent in another) will grow out of their dysphoria naturally and will not need surgery or lifelong hormone regimens. Studies also show that there are numerous negative effects when children undergo hormone regimens, such as increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.

Becket filed the lawsuit in federal court on November 7, 2016 on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, the University of Mary, and SMP Health System. The State of North Dakota also joined Becket’s legal challenge. More information can be found at