Tuesday, May 11, 2010

True Multiculturalism: AAP Advocates Female Circumcision

So this is where embracing multi-culturalism eventually takes us: Even the morally repellent ritual of female genital mutilation gets the nod form the American Academy of Pediatricians, which in the last few days has come out with advocacy for "federal and state laws [to] enable pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a ‘ritual nick,’ such as pricking or minor incisions of girls’ clitorises. In other words, the academy is advocating female genital circumcision "lite," supposedly in order that worse mutilation, available abroad, does not occur.

Lest anyone think the subject is a rarified and indelicate procedure confined to some farflung and remote outposts of the world, it is worth noting the problem of FGM is on the rise in the USA, particularly among Muslim immigrant groups, though not confined exclusively to them.

[You can read the full story, including protests from the World Heath Organization and International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-academy-of-pediatrics-aap-is-advocating-for-us-pediatricians-to-perform-certain-types-of-female-genital-mutilation-fgm-92871624.html]

As the linked article points out, "mothers who have until now resisted community pressure and not subjected their daughters to FGM in the U.S., in part because of the anti-FGM law, could be forced under the AAP guidelines to ask pediatricians to "nick" their daughters’ clitorises if it is [now] legally permitted."

Another consequence the article doesn’t point out, but one which would be equally serious, is that all US pediatricians, under the pressure of multi-cultural assumptions that FGM is a culturally mandated procedure not subject to Western medical ethics, might be forced against their consciences to perform a non-necessary and deforming medical procedure that does their female patients harm, thus violating the Hippocratic Oath.

Western women’s organizations should be up in arms over the AAP’s accommodative stance. While prominent women’s organizations such as NOW may be officially opposed to FGM, they have been preternaturally quiet. It is time for them and for women’s religious groups as well as for leaders of churches and synagogues to speak up.

The AAP must be pressured to reverse its morally offensive endorsement of unnecessary, psychologically, emotionally and physically harmful procedures which permanently scar young girls..

1 comment:

  1. How dare we debate what unneccessary risks might be OK to expose a child to? Why should any child have to heal from a blood-letting while in a fouled diaper?

    My wife had a biopsy that only made a nick in her hood and she said it was the worst thing she has ever experienced.

    In the 13 years FGM has been illegal in the US there has been only 1 prosecution (and that was botched, the mom framed the dad but he went to jail for 10 years).

    This unneeded AAP proposal is a poorly disguised bid to sell more cutting procedures, when they should instead by cowering in shame for the ones they perpetrate today (15% of US male infants are circumcised by AAP members at about $300 a pop).

    Follow the money. 2 million boys per year times 15% times $300 = 90 Million dollars.

    NOT ONE national medical association on earth (not even Israel's) endorses routine circumcision.

    FGM is illegal for 94% of the world's population with no religious or "nick" exception. Why does the US have to be the ones back-tracking on this? Enforce the law.