interACT obtained the exact language of the new intersex-affirming policy of NYC Health and Hospitals. As a result of interACT’s advocacy and that of so many intersex activists, the largest public health care system in the United States (covering over 70 facilities across NYC!) will now prohibit surgeries on intersex youth!!!
“All medically unnecessary surgery on Intersex [children] should be delayed until the child is of an age to assent/consent (adolescence). If parents are requesting such surgery, the rights of the child to be protected from harm should take precedence over the demands of parents for intervention. … Therefore, NYC H+H hospitals should respect the child’s increasing decision-making authority and moral understanding and not perform any medically premature procedures.”
Kudos to everyone involved in helping NYC to lead the way by recognizing that ‘discriminatory attitudes can never justify human rights violations, including forced treatment and violations of the right to physical integrity and that intersex people and their caregivers “should be provided with this human rights perspective” prioritizing intersex bodily autonomy.
The policy applies to all infants with intersex traits, explicitly including Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, and also calls for psychosocial and peer support for parents and families. This tremendous step will put pressure on other hospitals in New York (and beyond) to do the same–we couldn’t be happier!