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A00128 Summary:

COSPNSRHevesi, Jacobson, Wallace, Simon, DeStefano, Bichotte Hermelyn, Seawright, Sillitti, Dinowitz, Zinerman, Rosenthal L, Davila, Barrett, Cruz, Otis, Gonzalez-Rojas, Kelles, Steck, Shimsky, Simone, Levenberg, Burdick, Epstein, Tapia
Add §267-a, Pub Health L
Prohibits the performance of virginity examinations.
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A00128 Actions:

01/04/2023referred to health
01/17/2023reported referred to codes
02/02/2023advanced to third reading cal.5
02/06/2023passed assembly
02/06/2023delivered to senate
01/03/2024DIED IN SENATE
01/03/2024ordered to third reading cal.11
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A00128 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Solages
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to prohibiting virginity examinations   PURPOSE: The purpose of the bill is to prevent the performance of examinations on women that purport to ascertain whether a woman has previously had vagi- nal intercourse.   SUMMARY: Section 1. Amends the public health law by adding section 267-a. Section 2. Sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: According to the World Health Organization, "virginity testing" is an inspection of the female genitalia meant to determine whether a woman or girl has had vaginal intercourse. The term "virginity" is not a medical or scientific term. The concept of virginity is a social, cultural and religious construct that has historically been used to discriminate against women and girls. According to clinical experts, "virginity testing" is not a medically indicated or valid examination or test. Physical examinations purported to assess virginity are without basis. "Virginity testing" has been associated with adverse psychosocial and physical outcomes and is considered a violation of human rights by the international community. Many women suffer from anxiety, depression, and PTSD due to "virginity testing," and the practice is physically invasive and damaging. In cases where this unscientific "test" reaps an unfavorable result to parents, guardians, or partners, the consequences can result in emotional and physical abuse for the woman or girl. Although it is difficult to track its prevalence, a study in 2017 of around 3000 obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States found that 16% had been asked to perform "virginity tests" or "virginity restoration." In many of these cases, a parent or guardian is making these requests without their child knowing and the "test" is performed without explanation and therefore nonconsensual. The United Nations, along with the World Health Organization, U.N. Women and U.N. Human Rights, called for a global ban on the practice. Indeed, according to the World Health Organization's 2018 interagency statement calling for the elimination of "virginity testing," a number of medical profes- sionals, health care associations, and human rights organizations have explicitly condemned "virginity testing" as unscientific and harmful. This legislation would ban so-called "virginity tests," ending a harmful practice that is being perpetrated against women and girls in New York State.   RACIAL JUSTICE IMPACT: While tracking the use of "virginity tests" is difficult, it is clear that this practice impacts women and girls of various races and ethnici- ties. Further, a shameful history of exploiting the bodies of women of color for pseudoscience in the United States emphasizes the need to ban all forms of "virginity tests" that may contribute to abuse steeped in racism.   GENDER JUSTICE IMPACT: This legislation seeks to explicitly ban the gendered issue of "virgini- ty tests" that has been utilized to perpetuate gender violence against women and girl's for centuries. In addition, this bill will ensure that these invasive and unscientific exams will not be utilized against non- binary or transgender people that could face dysmorphia or purposeful discrimination of their identity by such practices.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2021-22: A5517; passed assembly. 2019-20: A8742; referred to health.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.
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A00128 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 4, 2023
        Introduced by M. of A. SOLAGES, HEVESI, JACOBSON, WALLACE, SIMON, DeSTE-
          L. ROSENTHAL, DAVILA, BARRETT, CRUZ, OTIS -- Multi-Sponsored by --  M.
          of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Health

        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  public  health  law, in relation to prohibiting
          virginity examinations
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  The  public health law is amended by adding a new section
     2  267-a to read as follows:
     3    § 267-a. Prohibition of  virginity  examinations.    No  person  shall
     4  perform  a physical examination purporting to determine whether an indi-
     5  vidual has previously had vaginal intercourse.
     6    § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
     7  it shall have become a law.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
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