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First Criminal Case of Female Genital Cutting

Filed in Human Interest News by on April 26, 2017

Female genital cutting icon

FGC (female genital cutting), also known as female genital mutilation, refers to any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury of the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons. The World Health Organization states that FGC is a “violation of the human rights of girls and women” that “reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes.” FGC is a social norm practiced across cultures, religions, and socio-economic statuses. It is particularly common in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 1996, FGC became a crime under United States federal law, punishable by up to five years in prison. The Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act amended this law in 2013 in order to add a ban against “vacation cutting,” a term that describes a citizen of the United States undergoing an FGC procedure overseas.

On April 14, 2017, National Public Radio published an article by Merrit Kennedy, titled “Michigan Doctor Charged with Performing Female Genital Mutilation on Girls”», an exposé of the first criminal case against FGC. Earlier this year in Minnesota, two seven-year-old girls underwent FGC. An emergency department physician in Michigan has been accused of performing the procedure. The local Child Protective Services conducted an investigation and identified multiple minors who claim that the same physician had operated on their genitals without medical justification.

The tragic Minnesota event is evidence that FGC is prevalent in the United States so NSDI is raising FGC awareness and recommending a statewide mandated reporting system to advocate for additional resources for women affected by FGC.

Case Coverage by US Department of Justice»
Case Coverage by NPR»

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