In Germany, parents are no longer allowed to operate on intersex children

A divided German parliament has approved a ban on surgical treatment of intersex children on behalf of their parents.

In Germany, parents are no longer allowed to have medical procedures performed on intersex children. On Friday, the German parliament decided to ban surgical treatment of children whose genitals are not exclusively male or female at birth. As a result, parents can no longer “determine” the sex of their child through surgery. In an intersex person, the sexual characteristics do not entirely correspond to how society sees a female or male body.

The German parliament was divided over the ban. Paul Lehrieder of the Christian Democratic Party CDU stated that the legal prohibition protects children’s right to self-determination. Moreover, according to Lehrieder, the ban would save children from unnecessary medical interventions. The Liberal Party FPD and the left-wing groups Die Linke and Die Grünen abstained from the vote, arguing that the law would not protect children sufficiently. The right-wing populist AfD voted against the ban, because it would maintain” ideological disillusionment at the expense of what is best for the child”.

According to a study commissioned by the German government, approximately 1.7% (?) of the population are intersex children or adults. The law provides for an exception for children for whom medical intervention is necessary and for whom postponement is impossible. In such cases, however, a special committee must first give its consent.

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