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California bill looks to end 'virginity testing' in the state

Posted at 2:48 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 16:48:33-05

Lawmakers in California are moving to ban what many feel is an archaic and demeaning practice: virginity testing. If performed by a doctor the procedure is currently allowed, but a proposed bill would ban it.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, wants a newly introduced bill to pave the way for the rest of the nation by putting a stop to "virginity testing."

"There's something very 1890s and a little outdated about trying to check a woman's chastity," Gonzalez said.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 and sees if a woman's hymen (is) still intact."

The testing is documented in at least 20 countries, according to the World Health Organization. Along with the United Nations, WHO 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.

The bill now has a long journey through committees. The hope is to have it on Gov. Gavin 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 bill similar to the one in California was proposed last month in New York and already has the support of the governor's office.

This story was originally published on KERO.