US Democratic representative Liz Bennett has introduced a bill that would ban medically unnecessary surgeries for intersex minors.
Bennett introduced the HF 576 bill on Monday. It’s the first such bill to be tabled in the Iowa Legislature. It’s also one of only a small handful of such bills introduced nationwide.
Support for intersex bill from One Iowa Action
Iowa state LGBTI rights group, One Iowa Action, praised Bennett for introducing the bill, which it called ‘groundbreaking’.
‘Thank you, Rep. Liz Bennett, for working with One Iowa Action staff to draft and introduce this groundbreaking piece of legislation’, said OIA Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel.
‘Doctors in the United States, including in Iowa, continue to perform medically unnecessary surgeries that can inflict permanent physical and psychological harm on intersex children,’ he said, citing a 2017 report from Human Rights Watch and interACT.
‘The Iowa Legislature has the power to stop this practice in our state,’ he added. ‘[W]e urge Iowans to encourage their legislators to support HF 576.
‘Iowa has a legacy of leading the nation on equality,’ Hoffman-Zinnel said. ‘[W]e could continue that legacy by becoming the first state to ban these unnecessary and harmful surgeries.”
Last month the state of California introduced a similar bill. If passed doctors would be barred from treating or performing surgery on children born with genitals that don’t fit a single gender or are otherwise atypical unless it’s medically necessary or the child consents.