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04/20/2024 05:34 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 13, 2022 03:10 PM
From: Representative Benjamin V. Sanchez and Rep. Joe Webster
To: All House members
Subject: Remove Sex from Birth Certificates
Soon, we intend to introduce legislation to protect individual privacy and prevent discrimination by removing sex designations on PA birth certificates.

Someone’s gender identity is a personal journey. Many people struggle with the decision to come out about their gender identity in light of a society that has been slow to recognize transgender people as deserving of equal rights and respect. Unfortunately, bureaucratic roadblocks such as changing information on one’s birth certificate make this process even more complicated as transgender people face discrimination and multiple barriers when changing their sex on government documents.

Our legislation would fix this issue by simply removing sex from birth certificates altogether. Sex will still be reported on the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth system, which is used for medical and statistical data collection. As recently recommended by the American Medical Association, removing sex designations on birth certificates will prevent many problems transgender individuals face by having a different gender identity on this foundational document. This legislation would remove sex from PA birth certificates but will still ensure that an individual’s sex designation at birth continues to be reported through the separate U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth system. The AMA notes that “removal of sex designation from the birth certificate would have little to no impact on vital statistics data collected for medical, public health, and statistical purposes.”

Precedent exists when it comes to amending the required printed portion of the tangible birth certificates. For example, written Birth Certificates used to include the race of individual’s parents which had historically been used as a part of systemic discrimination. By removing sex from birth certificates, people who consider identifying with a gender separate from the sex organs they were born with will have one less bureaucratic hurdle to gender affirmation.

We urge you to join us in co-sponsoring this bill to take a simple step to ensure Pennsylvania bureaucracy is not a barrier to transgender Pennsylvanians living their lives authentically.

Introduced as HB2423