(VIA USA Today) The American Medical Association has now considered cheerleading a sport, confirming it into their policy on Monday at its annual meeting in Chicago. They decided that cheerleading is just as rigorous as other sports & activities in high schools and NCAA universities. The addition to cheerleading on their list would mean more safety measures for the cheerleaders and proper training for the coaches. This decision comes from the fact that cheerleading is a leading cause of catastrophic injury in female athletes at the high school and collegiate level. Samantha Rosman, a Boston-area pediatrician, stated to the AMA that “We need to stand for what is right for our patients and demand they get the same protection as their football colleagues.”
With this new policy, the AMA supports having appropriate accrediting bodies declare cheerleading a sport, and supports better safety measures including avoiding inappropriate surfaces when performing flips and other stunts, as well as following rules for properly performing stunts.
Other changes were implemented by the AMA in this meeting as well. They stated that transgender people should be able to switch the sex destignation on their birth certificates without having sex-change surgery. This new policy acknowledges that gender identity doesn’t always match a person’s birth anatomy. An AMA report shows that identification documents that are consistent with gender identity rather than anatomy is essential to basic social and economic functioning. It also said that patients deserve medical care that is appropriate to their birth anatomy even if they self-identify as the opposite sex.
This move was well received by the National Center for Transgender Equality. The group’s executive Director, Mara Keisling, stated that “The AMA’s support for eliminating surgery requirements to update their birth certificate will send a strong message to states that lag behind on these policies. Transgender people should not be required to have any specific, costly medical treatments in order to carry the accurate and consistent ID we all need to function every day in the United States.”