State Bill to Ban Cosmetic Genital Surgery for Intersex Infants Delayed Amid Opposition From Doctors

Alice Alvarez, a 29-year-old community college student and intersex activist from Fontana, is supporting a California bill to ban cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex infants. The bill was delayed on April 8, 2019, because of opposition from doctors. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Alice Alvarez, a 29-year-old community college student and intersex activist from Fontana, is supporting a California bill to ban cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex infants. The bill was delayed on April 8, 2019, because of opposition from doctors. (Credit: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

A bill to ban cosmetic surgeries on children born with atypical genitalia was shelved for the year before lawmakers could vote on it amid opposition from doctors who said medical decisions should be left up to parents.

Similar legislation is being considered in other states, but the effort by intersex advocates in California will not be taken up again until January. The bill once again demonstrated the clout of the doctors’ lobby in Sacramento, with physician associations arguing the bill was too broad and that it sought to legislate complex medical decisions.

The legislation, Senate Bill 201 by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would have required that a child be old enough to consent to genital surgeries that are not medically necessary. The Senate’s business and professions committee held a hearing on the bill April 1, but its chairman, Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), delayed a vote until Monday in the hope that Wiener could work through concerns raised by medical associations.

Ahead of the vote, Wiener said Glazer asked that the bill be held until January to give more time to work with the opposition.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.