SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A California lawmaker wants to ban so-called “virginity testing.”
Currently, there is no federal or state legislation barring it, despite global calls to end the practice.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), wants the newly introduced bill, AB 1909, to pave the way for the rest of the nation, by putting a stop to “virginity testing.”
“There’s something very 1890’s and a little outdated about trying to check a woman’s chastity,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a procedure where a doctor goes in and checks to see if a woman’s hymen is still intact.”
The testing is documented in at least 20 countries, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO, along with the United Nations, has called for a global end to the practice.
“This is not a medical procedure that most doctors believe has any value, so we want to ban it,” Gonzalez said.
Under the California proposal, any doctor who performs or supervises these “exams” would face punishment with the medical board. Gonzalez says the measure was prompted by the nationwide controversy surrounding rapper T.I., who said he had virginity tests performed on his teenage daughter every year.
“This procedure the doctor is doing, if it were anybody but a doctor, you’d go to jail,” Gonzalez said.
With the bill now on a long journey through committees, the hope is to have it on Governor Newsom’s desk by the end of the year.
“It’s time that we show young girls and women the respect that they deserve, and that’s not to test them for their chastity,” Gonzalez said.
A similar bill was proposed in New York last month. The Governor’s office there has already said it supports it.