Protect Intersex Youth From Damaging and Unnecessary Medical Procedures

Target: Representative Nancy Pelosi, United States Speaker of the House

Goal: Stop the practice of nonconsensual gender-conforming surgeries on intersex youth.

As states continue passing laws banning gender affirming treatments for trans youth, a growing number of advocates are making it known these laws will harm young intersex folks as well. While they block access to medical care for trans youth, many of these bills provide exceptions for the same treatments to be performed on intersex children, often without the consent of those children. An obvious and sharp contrast to young trans folks who not only consent to undergo these same treatments, but willingly seek them out.

Intersex individuals are born with biological traits characteristic of both male and female persons. These traits can range from unusual configurations of XX and XY chromosomes to having both male and female sex organs. Beginning in the 1950’s, US doctors began increasingly performing surgeries on intersex children, even infants, to ensure their bodies aligned with conventional ideas of a male or female body. Many of these surgeries are medically unnecessary and aim only to conform to rigid gender roles.

In recent years, medical professionals have increasingly called on their colleagues to stop performing these nonconsensual surgeries, citing “an array of irreversible complications, including scarring, sterilization, chronic pain, sexual dysfunction and nerve damage,” as well as long-term psychological effects – according to the Washington Post. These medical professionals join advocates in calling for bodily autonomy for intersex youth who should not be forced into having medically unnecessary procedures performed before they are able to make informed decisions based on their needs.

Intersex advocates argue that at the same time new anti-trans laws deny trans youth the necessary medical care they consent to, and they safeguard the ability to continue forcing intersex children to undergo treatments without the ability to consent. Sign below to call on lawmakers to create protections for intersex youth and allow them the bodily autonomy to make their own health decisions.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Representative Pelosi,

The recent sweep of anti-trans legislation passed in state legislatures through out the country is not only alarming, but a direct attack on the basic rights of trans folks. However, it isn’t just trans folks who are being hurt by these laws. Intersex advocates, along with medical professionals, are sounding the alarm on the ways these bills provide the path for nonconsensual gender affirming procedures to be performed on intersex children.

Many of the recent anti-trans bills passed in state legislatures include provisions which provide exceptions for the same procedures being outlaws for trans youth to be performed on intersex youth. Medical professionals have increasingly called on their colleagues to stop performing these nonconsensual surgeries, citing “an array of irreversible complications, including scarring, sterilization, chronic pain, sexual dysfunction and nerve damage,” as well as long-term psychological effects – according to the Washington Post. Bodily autonomy is a basic human right, and everyone deserves to have control over what medical procedures they undergo. Forcing intersex children into these procedures, without their consent is appalling, particularly when they are often not even medically necessary. Congress needs to adopt a law to provide protections for individuals facing this danger. Please do everything in your power to pass such legislation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sparrow (麻雀)


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