December 6, 2021

American Medical Association wants ‘sex’ dropped from birth certificates

It may sound ‘woke’ but this document has always been contested

People are easily polarised by birth certificates. In Pink News, an LGBT website, the headline over a resolution made by the American Medical Association at its annual meeting is: “Right-wing cranks rage at sound, rational plan to drop ‘sex’ from birth certificates”. In the Daily Signal, a conservative site, the corresponding headline is: “American Medical Association, Descending Into Wokeness, Calls for Eliminating Sex on Birth Certificates”.

What actually happened?

The AMA passed a resolution calling for “the removal of sex as a legal designation on the public portion of the birth certificate”.

Birth certificates have two sections – public and statistical. Leaving the public part blank would allow individuals to self-determine their gender.

However, the government would still collect information about sex “through the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth form for medical, public health, and statistical use only”.

“Designating sex on birth certificates as male or female, and making that information available on the public portion, perpetuates a view that sex designation is permanent and fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity. This type of categorization system also risks stifling an individual’s self-expression and self-identification and contributes to marginalization and mineralization,” said AMA Board Chair-Elect Sandra Adamson Fryhofer.

This may sound “woke”, but as a memo prepared for members pointed out, birth certificates have always been contested documents. Historically, birth certificates which listed the race of the parents have been exploited “to discriminate, promote racial hierarchies, and prohibit miscegenation”. Nowadays race is no longer listed on the public part of birth certificates.

For intersex, transgender or non-binary individuals, as the memo explains, “having a gender identity that does not match the sex designation on their birth certificate can result in confusion, possible discrimination, harassment and violence whenever their birth certificate is requested.”

Complete rubbish, commented a contributor to The Federalist: “Nothing about the American Medical Association’s advocacy is medical. It’s just the next step in the dangerous transformation of health care into a science-devoid cesspool of social justice.”

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge   

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