Indian state bans unnecessary surgery on intersex babies

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08/28/2019

An Indian state has banned sex assignment surgery on babies whose sex is not clear at birth, a health official said on Wednesday, in a first to protect intersex children. The landmark move was made in response to an April order by Tamil Nadu’s top court to prohibit such surgeries – which research suggests can cause long-term mental and physical damage – except in life-threatening situations. “The (government order) was issued as per the high court’s directive to protect intersex children from these so-called normalising surgeries,” said a ministry official, who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media. About 1.7% of children are born intersex – with reproductive organs, genitals, hormones or chromosomes that do not fit the usual expectations of male and female, the United Nations says.

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