The British government has introduced legislation to make “virginity repair” surgery, often known as hymenoplasty, illegal.
Any technique that attempts to repair the hymen will be banned under an amendment to the health care bill added on Monday, Jan. 24, regardless of whether the individual undergoing the surgery consents or not.
According to WION News, a growing number of clinics, private hospitals, and pharmacies are offering the controversial surgery guaranteeing virginity restoration, with a high number of teenagers and young women pushed into the treatment.
The goal of this operation is to make a girl or woman bleed the next time she has sexual contact by using scar tissue to create a false hymen.
Campaigners, including doctors and midwives, have been calling for the surgery to be outlawed since the government committed to criminalizing virginity testing last July.
Engaging in either of these activities is considered a form of violence against women and girls.
According to one British survivor of “honour”-based abuse who was tormented by her parents for months after having the operation, the ban will provide important protection to females under family pressure.
According to Dr. Edward Morris, head of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, hymenoplasty can never be justified on medical grounds.
He explained that they have been working with women’s health and rights organizations to push for a ban on both virginity testing and hymenoplasty, as both are intimately related to violence against women and girls.
He said that none of these techniques has a place in the medical world and should never be conducted, and that if they learn of someone executing them, they will notify the General Medical Council so that proper action can be taken.