California Bill Would Tighten Controls on Children's Genitalia Surgery

A bill that would place more restrictions on children's genitalia surgery in California raises serious concerns among doctors in the state.

Under the bill, doctors would not be able to treat or perform surgery on children born with genitals that don't match a single gender or are otherwise atypical unless such surgery is medically necessary or the child consents, the Associated Press reported.

"The fundamental premise of the legislation is that people should make decisions about their own bodies," said bill sponsor Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco. "In California, we strongly believe that people are who they are and that we shouldn't be telling people who they are supposed to be."

While the California Medical Association hasn't taken a formal stance on the bill, it has "very serious concerns" about the bill, including no definition of when a minor is old enough to consent, the AP reported.

"Our concern is that the approach in this bill may be being overly prescriptive and not give families and medical professionals the ability to take the specifics of each case into account," Janus Norman, senior vice president for governmental relations at the association, said in a statement.

Doctors who violate the proposed law could be disciplined by the state's medical board, but would not face criminal charges, the AP reported.

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