A transgender man is suing a Catholic hospital in New Jersey for for refusing to perform a hysterectomy procedure as part of a gender transition, according to the Associated Press.
Jionni Conforti, 33, alleges in a federal lawsuit that after the surgery to remove female reproductive organs was scheduled at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, a hospital administrator said the procedure couldn’t be done because it was a “Catholic hospital.”
Conforti, who has been transitioning since 2004, later underwent the procedure elsewhere.
“I felt completely disrespected as a person,” Conforti told the AP. “That’s not how any hospital should treat any person regardless of who they are. A hospital is a place where you should feel safe and taken care of. Instead I felt like I was rejected and humiliated.”
Citing the high rate of suicide in the transgender community, Conforti said the experience caused him, too, to struggle with depression.
“Anything can trigger that,” Conforti said. “Something may seem small, but to a trans person, it’s not. This is a big thing that happened. I want it to change. I don’t want other trans people to have to go through and feel what I felt.”
A spokeswoman for the hospital did not immediately return TheBlaze’s request for comment.
In a statement provided to the Washington Post, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center said it is “a leading Catholic healthcare institution serving one of the most diverse and underserved populations in New Jersey” and that it follows the directives for Catholic hospitals set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The directives forbid “procedures that induce sterility” — such as hysterectomies — in all but grave circumstances where alternative treatment would not suffice.
Conforti alleges that the hysterectomy was medically necessary as part of the transition.
The Catholic hospital is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.