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Portugal will ban surgeries on intersex babies

Surgery can cause lack of sexual sensation, scarring and sterilization

Portugal will ban surgeries on intersex babies
Pixabay | Public Domain
Portugal is to outlaw surgery on intersex babies

Portugal has announced it will ban surgeries on intersex babies.

The news came as part of a discussion today at the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia Forum in Brussels.

Transgender Europe and ILGA Europe also tweeted the news with the latter adding, ‘Other states can act now. It’s about #humanrights.’

Intersex babies are born without clear male or female genitalia — and it’s up to their doctors to perform surgery to give them ‘normal’ reproductive organs and genitals.

These surgeries can cause long-term side effects, including scarring, torn tissue, loss of natural hormones, a lack of sexual sensitivity and even sterilization.

A study conducted in 2000 estimated that between 1 and 2 of every 1,000 live births would result in ‘corrective’ genital surgery, though the number of intersex individuals could be higher than that.

The US affiliate of the Organization Intersex International says this figure only covers ‘one specific intersex trait,’ which is ‘but one of many variations’ that could mean there is a larger intersex population overall.


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