Newsflash: Pediatricians Rescind Female Genital “Nicking” Policy

After suggesting that American doctors should be allowed to “nick” girls’ genitals if it would save them from being sent overseas to have a full female genital cutting procedure done, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has reversed its decision. Human rights group Equality Now decried the original announcement.

Citing that even the nicking procedure may cause physical or psychological harm, the AAP rescinded the statement because “it is important that the world health community understands the AAP is totally opposed to all forms of female genital cutting, both here in the U.S. and anywhere else in the world,” said AAP President Judith Palfrey.

Cutting women’s genitals is illegal in the U.S. under a 1996 federal law. A couple of U.S. legislators has proposed an amendment to imprison parents who have their daughters sent to other countries to undergo the procedure.

Photo public domain, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Comments

  1. yoteech says:

    Has it occurred to any one in any culture or in any medical profession that the way our genitals are formed at birth is the way they should be left? Female or male genitalia is evolved to serve its purpose without any interference (aka cutting) on our part.

  2. I agree 100% with Equality Now, with Intact America and every one of the human rights groups that pressured AAP to change its position of appearing to condone FGM. The AAP today says that “it is important that the world health community understands the AAP is totally opposed to all forms of female genital cutting, both here in the U.S. and anywhere else in the world,” which is different from what its position just a little while ago suggested, when pediatricians would have accepted payment to perform this traumatic, unnecessary procedure on girls, making AAP complicit in undermining the human rights of these girls who are already protected by the 1996 law. It is unfortunate enough that a highly profitable industry of surgically reshaping and recreating ADULT womens’ bodies exists, where medically unnecessary, often risky procedures are performed on the faces, breasts and genitalia of women. Medical professionals in yet another field need not profit from more risky, painful, unnecessary procedures performed on the female body.
    From previous comments related to this topic I cannot believe how poorly understood FGM is as a human rights issue for women and girls. I cannot believe that some Ms. readers believe that the AAP was not in the wrong to offer a “ritual nick” to some parents to satisfy “cultural requirements”, thereby condoning in spirit the practice of FGM.

  3. Christian says:

    Geez, guys deal with it, myself included. Psychological damage? Not even a little. Sure, female genitalia don’t need to be cut in any way, but what about us? Where’s the equality? Poor little guys…

  4. There are those people who would think that it's close, and that men go through it, but not all men do. and there is nothing cleaner involved in literally simply cutting away part of what makes you a woman, cutting and sewing- to in some cases be ripped open by men on the wedding night ugh!

  5. @Christian, there is a difference. Guys do not deal with having the heads of their penises amputated. And that is more the kind of thing that we are dealing with here, that and worse.

    But guys should NOT have to deal with it. My son did NOT have to deal with it. The cultural norm in the US may be to have your male children's genitals mutilated shortly after birth, but we don't all do it. Some of don't do it because we are atheists and see religious rituals as barbaric. Some of us don't do it because we are feminists. Some of us don't do it because we feel that one should be able to make one's own call about what happens to our genitals. Some of us actually have BRAINS and a CAPACITY for EMPATHY. So instead of saying, guys deal, and allowing a further and far worse injustice, how about joining us and trying to get all of this nonsense stopped once and for all!

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