The Supreme Court has declined to intervene in a lawsuit against a Catholic hospital that declined to perform a hysterectomy on a woman who identifies as a transgender man on the grounds that doing so would violate Catholic ethics and the U.S. bishops’ directives.

“In keeping with our Catholic faith, at our Catholic-sponsored care sites we do not offer certain services including sterilizing procedures such as hysterectomies to any patient regardless of gender identity, unless the patient has a life-threatening condition,” the Dignity Health hospital network said Nov. 1. “Courts have long recognized the right of faith-based providers to offer services that are consistent with their religious beliefs. Although the Supreme Court will not consider this important issue at this time, we plan to continue to pursue the case at the lower-court level.”

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch wanted the court to hear the case, which comes amid debate over religious freedom, the ability of U.S. Catholic institutions to follow Catholic ethics, and political and legal claims related to LGBT causes.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Evan Minton, a Sacramento-area woman who identifies as a transgender man. Minton’s suit claimed a Catholic hospital in the Dignity Health network violated state law when it cancelled her hysterectomy procedure to remove her uterus and rescheduled it within three days at a non-Catholic institution.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.