Friday, May 14, 2010

Why are US doctors allowing genital mutilation?

Paediatricians have erred by suggesting that 'nicking' female genitalia should be allowed as a cultural compromise

Lakshmi Anantnarayan

Tuesday 11 May 2010 13.00 BS

At the end of last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a revised policy statement on female genital mutilation (FGM) called "ritual genital cutting of female minors," suggesting that the federal and state law in the US should permit paediatricians to offer a ritual "nick" of girls' genitalia as a compromise to appease the cultural needs of their immigrant clients. International women's rights organisations from the US, Africa, and Europe were quick to respond to this outrageous proposition calling on the AAP to retract its 2010 statement and revert back to its much stronger 1998 statement on the subject. The AAP's response, however, has thus far been underwhelming and they continue to justify this latest position on three grounds:

• "Nicking" is a minor procedure equivalent to a pin prick or ear piercing and has no harmful health consequences.

• Offering the "nick" demonstrates cultural sensitivity in serving immigrant populations.

• The "nick" is a "compromise" that could prevent families from performing more severe forms of FGM on their daughters

Complete article: Click here

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