Intersex is an umbrella term to refer to people with variations in their reproductive and sexual anatomy that differ from what’s traditionally male or female. Intersex births make up approximately 1 out of every 1,500 new births. Since the 1960’s, many doctors have performed medically unnecessary “corrective” surgery on intersex youth. This process is a form of involuntary genital mutilation. Intersex youth are often subjected to these invasive medical procedures without their informed consent. Due to the nature of these procedures, intersex youth face immense physical and psychological harm. The unnecessary and non-consensual procedures often result in permanent sterilization.
This is why it is vital that we protect intersex rights in the state of Iowa. The Iowa Legislature needs to pass legislation allowing intersex individuals to decide what type of assignment surgery (if any) to pursue when they come of age and end the practice of childhood reassignment surgery.