New York City Hospitals Prohibit Unnecessary Intersex Surgeries

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7/16/21

New York City Health & Hospitals, the largest public healthcare system in the United States, has instituted a policy to defer all medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children. The move is a major boost for Intersex rights following City Council legislation earlier this year that mandates public education on the issue. Intersex people, or people born with variations in their sex characteristics, make up approximately 1.7 percent of the world’s population. Since surgeons in the US popularized cosmetically “normalizing” surgeries on infants to remove gonads, reduce the size of the clitoris, or increase the size of the vagina in the 1960s, these practices have become widespread in the country. Since the 1990s, intersex advocacy groups, as well as a range of medical and human rights organizations, have spoken out against the operations and called for regulation.

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