‘Virginity repair’ surgery known as hymenoplasty has no place in the medical world, British healthcare professionals were warned today, as legislation to criminalize the practice was introduced by the government.
An amendment added to the health and care bill on Monday will make it illegal to perform any procedure that aims to reconstruct the hymen, with or without consent.
Dozens of clinics, private hospitals and pharmacies have offered the controversial surgery with the promise of “restoring virginity” – with growing numbers of girls and young women coerced into undergoing the procedure.
Scar tissue is used to construct a fake hymen with the aim of making a girl or woman bleed when she next has intercourse.
There had been pressure to outlaw the surgery from campaigners, including doctors and midwives, since the government pledged to criminalise virginity testing last July.
Both practices are considered forms of violence against women and girls.