‘Sex-normalising’ surgeries on babies born intersex have been banned in Greece under a new law approved by parliament on 19 July.

The Medically Assisted Reproduction Reforms Act prevents doctors from carrying out said operations on people under the age of 15 unless they have a court order stating otherwise.

Those who break the law will face fines and time in prison, Reuters reported.

Intersex people subjected to these operations in the past have experienced a number of health issues, including sterilisation and loss of sexual sensation.

The surgeries attempt to make a child ascribes to the traditional notions of male and female.

People older than 15 will still be allowed to seek out surgeries and/or hormonal therapies that can change the body under the new law.

Speaking to parliament before the vote, Rinio Simeonidou, the Secretary General of Intersex Greece and the mother of an intersex teenager, said the legislation is “a truly historic moment for all intersex children in Greece”.

These types of surgeries have already been banned in Malta, Portugal and Germany.

Earlier this year, Greece banned so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for minors as part of a wider effort to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the country.

“Obviously these treatments not only are not a therapy but they are not supported scientifically,” Thanos Plevris, the country’s Health Minister, said at the time.