Georgia required woman to get vaginal exam to correct birth certificate error

By David Edwards
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 10:35 EDT
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Nakia Grimes told to get a Pap exam by Georgia (WAGA)
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A 37-year-old Georgia woman says that she was humiliated when the state told her she would need to have her vagina probed to prove she was a woman before she could renew her driver’s license.

Nakia Grimes told WAGA that she never had a reason to notice that her birth certificate had incorrectly listed her gender as male. But because of new rules at the Georgia Department of Driver Services, Grimes was required to go to Vital Records Services to obtain a copy of her birth certificate before she could renew her driver’s license.

That’s when the mother noticed that the document listed her as a male.

“When I went to retrieve my birth certificate, I let her know the sex status is wrong,” Grimes recalled. “I’m a woman, was born a woman.”

A state worker told Grimes that she would have to prove that she was a woman to get the document corrected.

“She said I needed to go have a Pap exam, have a doctor write a note verifying you’re a woman, and bring it back-– notarized,” Grimes said.

A Pap test or Pap smear is a common procedure where doctor uses a plastic or metal instrument to widen the vagina and collect cells from the cervix.

About.com explains what women can expect during the Pap exam:

During the pelvic exam/ Pap smear portion of your visit, you’ll need to lay down on the table and put your feet in the stirrups. You may need to scoot down to the end of the table and spread your knees apart. Next a speculum is inserted into your vagina to hold your vaginal walls open so your physician can view the inside of the vaginal walls and the cervix, and collect a sample of cervical tissue for your Pap test.

The Vital Records Services director told WAGA’s Kaitlyn Pratt that the department violated protocol by asking Grimes to have the Pap exam. The state eventually verified Grimes’ gender by looking up her son’s birth certificate.

Watch this video from WAGA, broadcast July 24, 2013.

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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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