Transgender man: Catholic hospital denied my hysterectomy

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – A transgender man who wants a hysterectomy is suing a Catholic hospital in New Jersey for allegedly citing religion in refusing to allow the surgery.

The lawsuit filed Thursday says the hysterectomy is a medically necessary part of Jionni (jee-AH’-nee) Conforti’s gender transition.

The 33-year-old Conforti had scheduled the surgery at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson in 2015, but alleges in the lawsuit that a hospital administrator subsequently said the procedure to remove the uterus couldn’t be done because it was a “Catholic hospital.”

New regulations billed as anti-discrimination protections for transgender individuals were to have taken effect Jan. 1, but were put on hold by a federal judge at the request of religious physicians and health providers.

The hospital said Thursday it follows ethical and religious directives from the U.S. Conference of Bishops in making decisions about care and treatment. The directives say procedures judged “morally wrong” by the church don’t have to be performed.