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Assemblywoman Quijano and Senator Vitale Introduce Legislation to Prohibit Genital Surgery on Intersex Children

Hospitals and healthcare professionals will be prohibited from performing genital surgeries on children under 12 years of age who are born with variations in their physical sex characteristics, unless the surgery is required to address immediate physical harm under legislation introduced today by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union) and to be introduced by Senator Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex) at the next Senate quorum.

The bill would provide penalties and administrative actions against healthcare professionals that perform prohibited surgical procedures in violation of the bill, and holds the healthcare professional liable to the person upon whom the prohibited surgical procedure was performed. The person may file a civil action against the heath care professional in Superior Court.

Assemblywoman Quijano and Senator Vitale issued the following joint statement:

“People who are intersex, those who are born with a range of variations in sexual characteristics, have been subjected to irreversible and unnecessary surgeries and treatment as children, nationally and in New Jersey. Just because their bodies do not fit the typical gender categories of male and female, doesn’t mean they need to be ‘fixed.’

“These surgeries should not be done on children who are unable to consent to them, unless it is absolutely necessary to protect them from harm or save their lives. This legislation will protect the human and civil rights of intersex people not to be subject to unnecessary medical procedures without their consent.”