State lawmakers in New York have introduced legislation banning physicians from performing virginity checks in the state. The bills, brought forward in both the state Assembly and Senate, came after rapper T.I. claimed to take his 18-year-old daughter to the gynecologist on a yearly basis to "check her hymen."
T.I's comments came during an interview with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham on their Ladies Like Us podcast — comments he has since apologized for.
“She did have a problem with me talking about it and I understand that and I am incredibly apologetic to her for that,” T.I. said during an appearance last month on Facebook Watch's show Red Table Talk. “Not to any of these other strangers and any of these weirdos who just kind of toss lies around.”
The legislation, introduced in both chambers of the state, was laid out alongside a memorandum where lawmakers voiced their opinions on the practice.
"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-traumatization, and re-victimization,” lawmakers stated in the memorandum accompanying the legislation.
They continued, "Many women suffer from adverse short-and long-term physical, psychological, and social consequences of this practice. This includes anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. In extreme cases, women or girls may attempt suicide or be killed in the name of 'honor.'"
The memorandum also noted 'virginity' was not a medical term but rather a "social, cultural, and religious construct" which holds a historical discriminatory use toward women and girls.
Should the legislation pass, any physician caught administering virginity examinations would be subjected to professional misconduct penalties and possible criminal charges.