SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) — A California lawmaker wants to ban so-called “virginity” testing.
Despite calls from around the world to end this practice, there is no federal or state law stopping it.
“There is something very … um … 1890s and a little outdated about trying to check a woman’s chastity,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.
To that end, Gonzalez wants a newly introduced bill to pave the way for the rest of the nation by putting a stop to virginity testing.
“It’s a procedure where a doctor would go in and check if a woman’s hymen is still intact,” Gonzalez said.
The testing is documented in at least 20 countries, according to the World Health Organization, which along with the United Nations has called for a global end to the practice.
“This is not a medical procedure most doctors believe has any value and so we want to ban it,” said Gonzalez.
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, TI, who said he had virginity tests performed on his teenage daughter every year.
“The procedure the doctor is doing, if it was anybody but a doctor. They’d go to jail,” she said.
With the bill now on a long journey through committees, the hope is to have it on Gov. 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 similar bill was proposed in New York last month, with the Governor’s office there already expressing its support.