Under growing pressure from employees and activists, Lurie Children’s Hospital says it will stop preforming surgeries on children who are intersex — those born with sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit into the typical definitions of male or female.
In an apology posted online last week, the hospital said it would be moving toward ending intersex surgeries on children except in cases of medical necessary.
The statement reads, in part:
“Historically care for individuals with intersex traits included an emphasis on early genital surgery to make genitalia appear more typically male or female. As the medical field has advanced, and understanding has grown, we now know this approach was harmful and wrong.”
The move follows recent criticism from hospital employees and years of activist work against the hospital’s surgeries.
“[These surgeries] strip some of the most intimate, private, personal and important decisions from a person,” said Pidgeon Pagonis, co-founder of the Intersex Justice Project. “They don’t allow a person to make those decisions about their genitalia, their reproductive organs, their hormones and their gender identity.”
Pagonis joins “Chicago Tonight” in discussion along with Dr. Ellie Kim, a research coordinator for the Trans Youth Care Study at Lurie Children’s Hospital.