The American Medical Association (AMA), the largest organization of physicians and medical students in the United States, came under fire over the weekend for a recent proposal calling to end the designation of sex on birth certificates.
The proposal (pdf), which was adopted by the AMA’s Board of Trustees in June, states that recording the baby’s sex on the public portion of birth certificates, as has always been the case, has “potential for discrimination.”
“Our American Medical Association will advocate for the removal of sex as a legal designation on the public portion of the birth certificate,” the proposal reads, adding that information on a person’s sex designation at birth will still be submitted to the authority and only used for medical, public health, and statistical purposes.
According to the AMA, recording a person’s sex can result in “confusion, possible discrimination, harassment and violence” against those whose chosen gender identity or self-expression is different from their assigned sex at birth, whenever they are requested to show their birth certificate.
“Assigning sex using a binary variable and placing it on the public portion of the birth certificate perpetuates a view that it is immutable and fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity,” the AMA’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee argued. “Imposing such a categorization system risks stifling self-expression and self-identification and contributes to marginalization and minoritization.”
The policy received widespread backlash on social media after it was reported by medical news site WebMD. Critics across the political spectrum expressed frustration over the disregard for biology, as well as concern that science is being subordinated by progressive politics.
“Who gains if biological reality is erased from birth certificates, and who loses?” Rachel Moran, a feminist activist, wrote on Twitter. “This is the most serious assault on women’s dignity and autonomy I have ever seen in my life.”
“The near-total politicization of science on behalf of fringe progressive fantasticism happened really fast, all things considered,” wrote Omri Ceren, national security adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
“This isn’t enough. The AMA should create an entire research division devoted to debunking the socially constructed myth of chromosomes. Call it the Lysenko Department,” joked New York Post editor Sohrab Ahmari in reference to Trofim Lysenko, a Soviet biologist known for using politics and public opinion to suppress those who opposed his pseudo-genetic science based on Marxist-Leninist ideology.