In 1996, it became illegal in the United States to perform the operation commonly called “female genital mutilation” (FGM). That law makes it clear that surgery is allowable only for specific medical conditions. Appallingly, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now wants to “compromise” the legal prohibition and allow physicians to perform a ceremonial “nick” on the genitalia of baby girls whose parents request the procedure. Clearly, the AAP capitulated their principles for political expediency. They excused their “nuanced” and “culturally sensitive” decision on the basis that “some families might take their daughters to other countries” for the entire “circumcision,” so their “compromise” is meant to “avoid greater harm.”
It is an open secret that the procedure is meant for baby girls born into families among the 10 million Islamic followers in the United States. As Mark Steyn put it: [FGM] is a “key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: Its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure.”
The brutal FGM procedure is not a medical procedure; instead it is a cultural, religious, or social practice. The underground practice of altering or removing the female genital organs is common in some African, Asian, and/or Islamic countries such as Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, and Mali. Actually, the procedure is prohibited in Africa, “in order to eradicate” the practice. The African Protocol on the Rights of Women prohibits “in all states” all forms of “female genital mutilation, scarification, medicalisation and para-medicalisation in order to eradicate them.”
How ironic that those living where the practice is most common are trying to “eradicate” the procedure, while here in the United States where the practice is rare, there is a move to downplay the serious nature of the practice by introducing a lesser degree of the procedure. How ironic, too, that international progress condemning the procedure has expanded, while here in the U.S. a medical association recommends compromising our revulsion against the practice.