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A08742 Summary:

COSPNSRGottfried, Hevesi, Mosley, Burke, Jacobson, Wallace, Simon, DeStefano, Fernandez, Blake, Nolan, Simotas
Add 230-f & 267-a, Pub Health L; amd 6509, Ed L; amd 130.65 & 485.05, Pen L
Prohibits licensed medical practitioners from performing or supervising virginity examinations and subjects any medical practitioner who does perform or supervise such performance to professional misconduct penalties as well as possible criminal charges.
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A08742 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Solages
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, the education law and the penal law, in relation to prohibiting virginity examinations   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of the bill is to prevent the performance of hymen examina- tions on women as a means to ascertain whether a woman is a virgin   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds two new sections § 230-f and 267- a to the public health law to forbid the performance of a hymen exam on women as a means to ascertain whether a woman is a virgin. Section 2 amends § 6509 of the education law by adding a new subdivision 15.   JUSTIFICATION: According to numerous sources, "virginity tests"- exams in which two fingers or a speculum are inserted into the vagina in search of the hymen or to measure the elasticity of the vaginal walls, are widespread and common throughout the US. These examinations are not only a violation of women's and girls' human rights, but in cases of rape can cause additional pain and mimic the original act of sexual violence, leading to re-experience, re-traumati- zation and re-victimization. Many women suffer from adverse short- and long-term physical, psychological and social consequences of this prac- tice. This includes anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. In extreme cases, women or girls may attempt suicide or be killed in the name of "honour". The term "virginity" is not a medical or scientific term. Rather, the concept of "virginity" is a social, cultural and religious construct - one that reflects gender discrimination against women and girls. As a result, the United Nations, along with the World Health Organization, U.N. Women and U.N. Human Rights, called for a global ban on the prac- tice. Considering the federal government has yet to enact legislation to prohibit this invasive and medically unnecessary procedure, the onus of eliminating "virginity tests" is on state governments. This legislation would ban the performance of professional hymen exams as a means to ascertain whether a woman is a virgin, and the bill stipulates that if someone disregards these rules, it will be considered an act of profes- sional misconduct.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None noted.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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