Democrat State Senator Scott Weiner of San Francisco, California, has re-introduced legislation to the Senate to ban certain “medically unnecessary” surgeries on children born with intersexual (intersex) characteristics.
This definition refers to people whose genitals, chromosome set, or reproductive organs do not fit the typical definition of male or female. For example, babies may be born with female ovaries and male genitals, or with incompletely developed genitals that can be ambiguous.
Opponents of such operations, often performed on infants, demand that the decision on their necessity be postponed until the child reaches an age when his gender identity can be more clearly defined.
The United States does not have federal or state laws governing such transactions. In 2018, the California Legislature passed a non-binding resolution urging doctors to “postpone intersex surgeries until the child is able to participate in deciding whether to need them.”
The bill introduced by Weiner this time is less ambitious in content and concerns a ban on only four types of operations until the child reaches the age of 6 years, except in cases where such an operation is “urgently necessary for medical reasons.” These operations include the creation of missing (in whole or in part) genital organs or their removal. Doctors who violate the ban will not be charged with a crime, but may be subject to regulatory sanctions.
The senator hopes that the narrower focus of his bill and the renewed composition of the governing bodies of the state Senate will facilitate its adoption this time.
Boy or girl?