How We Are Making An Impact.
The AYC Team is joining with survivors, advocates, activists, legislators, professors, medical students, doctors, and bioethicists to get laws passed in every state protecting people from non-consensual intimate exams.
The film is part of a national campaign to pass laws in all fifty states banning non-consensual intimate exams on unconscious patients.
Twenty-four states have now passed laws banning non-consensual pelvic exams – or all non-consensual intimate exams. California was the first to pass a law banning non-consensual pelvic exams in 2003. Five other states (Virginia, Illinois, Oregon, Hawaii, and Iowa) followed, passing their own laws between the years 2003 and 2017. The movement gained traction in 2019, partially as a result of #MeToo, with many other states quickly moving to pass their own laws requiring consent for pelvic examinations. More recently, states have been pushing to require consent for ALL intimate examinations – pelvic, rectal, and prostate.
Colorado just became one of the latest states to pass a law requiring consent for intimate examinations – and Colorado’s law has the distinction of being the most robust of its kind in the country. At Your Cervix is proud to have played a key role in authoring and advocating for the bill, in coalition with a team of amazing legislators, advocates, medical students, and activists. We are hoping that the Colorado law will become a model for other states as we continue our work to pass laws banning non-consensual intimate examinations (for ALL people of ALL genders) in all states. Please have a look at this incredible new law for yourself right here.
States Requiring Consent for Intimate Examinations
Massachusetts has been trying to pass legislation requiring consent for pelvic examinations since 2019. This year, legislators have expanded the latest version of the bill to require consent for ALL intimate examinations (pelvic, prostate, and rectal). The At Your Cervix team is working with Massachusetts legislators to both offer our support and advocate for the strongest version of the bill possible that will provide the most comprehensive protections for patients and medical students alike. This includes incorporating provisions such as whistleblower protections for students and staff who witness or are instructed to perform intimate exams without explicit consent and third-party oversight and accountability mechanisms.
Dr. Ari Silver-Isenstadt, MD (main character in At Your Cervix), A’magine (director/producer of At Your Cervix) and Rohini Kousalya Siva (President of the American Medical Student Association – AMSA) testified recently before the Massachusetts Joint Public Health Committee. Listen to their testimonies by visiting our Vimeo page.
Massachusetts residents – if you want to see this bill passed, it is critical that you contact your state representative and ask them to support both the bill itself AND the proposed amendments. You can find out who your representative is and how to get in touch with them here.
CLICK BELOW to sign The Change.org petition to Stop Non-Consensual Intimate Exams on Anesthetized Patients in MASSACHUSETTS
Despite a strong start, the bill was shelved before receiving a hearing. However, we are not giving up. We are going to use the rest of 2023 to build a strong coalition, write a robust bill, and develop a vigorous advocacy strategy so that we are prepared for the 2024 legislative session. Sign up for our newsletters to stay informed.
CLICK BELOW to sign the Change.org petition to Stop Non-Consensual Intimate Exams on Anesthetized Patients in NEW MEXICO
VICTORY!!! Thanks to the work of a coalition of amazing legislators, advocates, medical students, and activists – including the At Your Cervix team – Colorado just passed the most robust consent legislation yet! The law – signed by Governor Jared Polis on May 25, 2023 outlines a thorough consent process for ALL intimate exams, provides whistleblower protections for students or staff who may witness a non-consensual exam, and requires patients be given the opportunity to meet and know the names of any students they agree to allow to perform an intimate examination as a part of their training. We hope this law will serve as a model for other states as we continue to fight to ban non-consensual intimate exams in all fifty states!
A bill recently passed the Wisconsin State Senate and is pending the consideration of the State Assembly.
At Your Cervix is currently in contact with legislators in Wisconsin to offer our support and to advocate for changes that will strengthen the bill and provide the most comprehensive protection for patients and medical students alike. These include expanding the legislation to cover all intimate examinations (pelvic, prostate, and rectal), provide whistleblower protections for students and staff who witness or are instructed to perform an intimate examination without explicit and informed consent, and third-party oversight and accountability mechanisms.
Please keep an eye out here for updates, and have a look at the bill in its current form here.
A bill was introduced in 2023, but unfortunately died in committee. That is a setback, but it also means we have until the next legislative session to work with legislators and grassroots organizations to write a stronger bill and develop a robust advocacy strategy. At Your Cervix Director and Producer A’magine recently met with Rep Rui Xu, and we hope to be able to provide support in lobbying for its passage during the 2024 legislative session! We will also be working to ensure the same robust language – including whistleblower protections and a specific and thorough informed consent process – that we successfully advocated for in Colorado also makes it into the Kansas bill! Sign up for our newsletters to stay informed.