SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — A newly proposed California law would prohibit doctors from performing surgery on children born with genitals that don’t fit a single gender unless it is medically necessary or the child consents.
Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill released Monday is the latest effort in California aimed at giving minors more control over their bodies and gender identities.
If passed, the bill would make California the first state in the U.S. to make surgeries performed on intersex infants illegal.
Wiener announced the new legislation at a press conference in San Francisco Monday morning, appearing with several intersex, LGBT and civil rights leaders.
The text posted on the California Legislative Information website states, “The bill would, among other things, require a physician and surgeon to provide a written and oral disclosure prior to performing the treatment or intervention and to obtain the informed consent of the intersex minor to the treatment or intervention, as specified.”
In a tweet, Wiener said the ban would allow those born intersex to “decide for themselves when they’re able to express their gender, as opposed to having physicians & parents decide their gender for them.”
The California Medical Association says it has concerns the bill goes too far in restricting how doctors can treat patients.
Intersex is defined as someone who is born with atypical sex characteristics, including those that don’t conform to a specific gender.
The bill does not define what makes a child old enough to consent and would rely on existing law.
A doctor who deems treatment or surgery medically necessary would need parental consent.
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