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Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Wants To Ban ‘Virginity Tests’ In California

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego speaks during the Assembly session...

Photo by Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Above: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego speaks during the Assembly session Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif.

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Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, introduced Assembly Bill 1909 last week. It would subject physicians who perform the exam, which involves inspecting a woman's hymen, to professional misconduct penalties.

Aired: January 15, 2020 | Transcript

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is calling for a statewide ban on so-called "virginity testing."

Gonzalez, D-San Diego, introduced Assembly Bill 1909 last week. It would subject physicians who perform the exam, which involves inspecting a woman's hymen, to professional misconduct penalties.

There is no scientific way to tell whether or not someone is a virgin. Hymens vary among girls and some are born without one.

"If anyone but a doctor performed this procedure if you will, they would be guilty of sexual assault, and so since there's no medically accurate or justified reason to do this examination, we think its time to ensure that doctor's also don't do it," Gonzalez said.

The practice came into the spotlight after rapper T.I said he took his daughter to the gynecologist to have her hymen checked to see if she had sexual intercourse.

Sophia Jones is an editor and journalist with the Fuller Project, a journalism nonprofit reporting on issues impacting women. She wrote a piece in Marie Claire on the practice and joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss her reporting.

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