Monday, August 20, 2007

Brazil: Government to pay for sex change operations

Brazil’s Health Ministry announced last Friday that the government will provide free sex change operations. The decision was based on a federal court verdict that concluded that gender-change operations are a constitutional right.

According to the AP, Brazilian gay rights activists supported the ministry’s choice:

"Transsexuals represent about 0.001 percent of the Brazilian population, but for this minority, sexual reassignment surgery is a question of life and death," said Luiz Mott, founder of the Bahia Gay Group. "It is unjust and cruel to argue that the health system should concern itself with other priorities."

Brazil's public health system has been at the forefront of AIDS treatment and very vocal on providing free contraception and decriminalizing abortion. Such measures have not been without controversy; for example, Catholic Church officials were deeply opposed to the government giving away free condoms during Carnaval.

Sources-, The Latin Americanist, Monsters & Critics, International Herald Tribune


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