Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Academy of Pediatrics Endorses Female Genital Cutting?

This topic, which I first read about over on A Shepherd's Voice, makes me ill. Fr. Malloy sites these highlights from the New York Times article:
"In a controversial change to a longstanding policy concerning the practice of female circumcision in some African and Asian cultures, the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting that American doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick or “nick” on girls from these cultures if it would keep their families from sending them overseas for the full circumcision.

The academy’s committee on bioethics, in a policy statement last week, said some pediatricians had suggested that current federal law, which “makes criminal any nonmedical procedure performed on the genitals” of a girl in the United States, has had the unintended consequence of driving some families to take their daughters to other countries to undergo mutilation...

A member of the academy’s bioethics committee, Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, said the panel’s intent was to issue a “statement on safety in a culturally sensitive context...."

“If we just told parents, ‘No, this is wrong,’ our concern is they may take their daughters back to their home countries, where the procedure may be more extensive cutting and may even be done without anesthesia, with unsterilized knives or even glass,” she said. “A just-say-no policy may end up alienating these families, who are going to then find an alternative that will do more harm than good.”
This response sums up my reaction to the article since I'm too disgusted to be particularly articulate right now:
Georganne Chapin, executive director of an advocacy group called Intact America, said she was “astonished that a group of intelligent people did not see the utter slippery slope that we put physicians on” with the new policy statement. “How much blood will parents be satisfied with?”

She added: “There are countries in the world that allow wife beating, slavery and child abuse, but we don’t allow people to practice those customs in this country. We don’t let people have slavery a little bit because they’re going to do it anyway, or beat their wives a little bit because they’re going to do it anyway.”


  1. Wow. It kinda reminds me of this infuriating piece of news. It's about an African girl who was gang raped. Her parents were charged with child abuse but because they can't find interpreters they have been released from jail. After the gang rape, the parents didn't report it. They blamed the girl. I guess because of their culture. I love the AAP but you have to take a stand for young girls.


  2. :-( I linked over one of the articles about this in a post a few days or so back. So not happy...

  3. It's absolutely not okay. The AAP is seriously misguided. Thank you for blogging about this.

  4. Ugh. Just...ugh.

    I'm not a fan of any kind of alteration to a person's genitals without their informed consent. Allowing a little "nick" is essentially saying "we're not going to say this practice is WRONG, we're just going to alter it to make it more comfortable for ourselves".

  5. Funny how we started with abortion, now it's moving to FGC......

    What next....going to allow honor "beatings" so at least they don't send them back home to be killed???

    BCP is recognized by the WHO as a carcinogen....but we can't "judge women"......Yet we judge smoking...(I'm a server and I had to be the "tobacco cop" on the patio last night).

    I mean, I'm liberal (and pro-life, no one knows what to make of it ;-)) but you can have an open mind and common sense...Unfortunately, a lot of people are making me wonder.....


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