Noi Liang, an intersex woman who works part-time as a patient advocate at Children's Hospital Colorado, stands for a photo at the medical center in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo., on Friday, July 7, 2017. Liang, who works for a technology firm, says the parents considering surgery for very young intersex children tend to be thorough and thoughtful in their deliberations, hoping that the decisions they make will be the ones that their children _ looking back years from now as adults _ would have wanted them to make. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Pressure mounts to curtail surgery on intersex children

July 25, 2017 - 12:13 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Children whose sexual characteristics don't neatly align with the norm have for decades faced surgery to rearrange their anatomy to resemble that of more typical boys and girls — long before they were old enough to have a say in the decision.

But now the practice is under assault, as never before. The American Medical Association is considering a proposal discouraging it. Three former U.S. surgeons general say it's unjustified. And on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch and InterACT — a group advocating for intersex youth — are releasing a detailed report assailing the practice and urging Congress to ban it.

The report says "the results are often catastrophic" and asserts that the surgeries "can inflict irreversible physical and psychological harm."

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