(The Center Square) – The insurance code for Pap smears and prostate exams will soon be gender neutral as a result of a new law.
Instead of men receiving prostate exams and women receiving Pap smears, it would be “individuals” receiving the exams. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2350 last week. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2025.
Former state Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas, D-Chicago, said the bill was conceived because transgender and gender non-conforming people have historically struggled with accessing health care.
“So many people born male may not identify as male, and the same for people born female who need certain tests but no longer identify as such,” said Pacione-Zayas.
During debate, state Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, called the legislation bizarre.
“I cannot get a prostate exam in the state of Illinois. I can’t. It doesn’t exist for me. My colleagues that are male can’t get a Pap exam. It’s just the way it is,” Tracy said.
She added that she is for inclusivity and folks getting proper care, but wondered why the bill was being prioritized over more important bills that are stuck in committee.
State Sen. Andrew Chesney, R-Freeport, said this type of legislation confuses kids.
“Biological males cannot get Pap smears, it’s not possible, it is physically and anatomically impossible,” Chesney said. “It’s not even following science.”
The measure was one of several bills offered up by Democrats dealing with gender inclusivity during the spring session, including allowing multi-occupancy gender-neutral bathrooms.
Another measure replaces in state statute the word “biological” with “birth,” replaces the word “mother” with “person who gave birth,” and replaces references to “boys and girls” with “children.”