Flame Damnation

General Category => Debate Forum => Topic started by: caskur™ on May 12, 2010, 06:45:50 am

Title: American Academy of Pediatrics - Should Be ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES
Post by: caskur™ on May 12, 2010, 06:45:50 am
Why are US doctors allowing genital mutilation?

Paediatricians have erred by suggesting that 'nicking' female genitalia should be allowed as a cultural compromise

Lakshmi Anantnarayan guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 11 May 2010

At the end of last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a revised policy statement on female genital mutilation (FGM) called "ritual genital cutting of female minors," suggesting that the federal and state law in the US should permit paediatricians to offer a ritual "nick" of girls' genitalia as a compromise to appease the cultural needs of their immigrant clients. International women's rights organisations from the US, Africa, and Europe were quick to respond to this outrageous proposition calling on the AAP to retract its 2010 statement and revert back to its much stronger 1998 statement on the subject. The AAP's response, however, has thus far been underwhelming and they continue to justify this latest position on three grounds:

• "Nicking" is a minor procedure equivalent to a pin prick or ear piercing and has no harmful health consequences.

• Offering the "nick" demonstrates cultural sensitivity in serving immigrant populations.

• The "nick" is a "compromise" that could prevent families from performing more severe forms of FGM on their daughters

FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia, is carried out across Africa, some countries in Asia and the Middle East, and by immigrants of practicing communities living around the world. It is estimated that up to 140 million women and girls around the world are affected by it. The US department of health and human services estimated in 1997 that over 168,000 girls and women living in the US have either been, or are at risk of being, subjected to FGM.

A comparison of the AAP's 1998 and 2010 statements clearly demonstrates a dilution in the organisation's understanding of FGM as a form of sex discrimination and gender-based violence performed to control women's sexuality, ensure virginity until marriage, and guarantee their acceptance into a particular community. A 2008 statement on FGM adopted by 10 prominent UN agencies clearly states that, "the guiding principles for considering genital practices as FGM should be those of human rights, including the right to health, the rights of children and the right to nondiscrimination on the basis of sex."

The AAP's casual comparison of "nicking" of girls' genitalia to ear piercing demonstrates just how far from the international framework the organisation currently stands. "Nicking" cannot be pulled out of context and must be understood within the larger gender politics of controlling women's bodies and sexual rights.

Indigenous grassroots groups and activists, including traditional leaders and ex-circumcisers across Africa, have for decades engaged in transforming their local communities to abandon the practice of all types of FGM and adopted alternative rites of passage instead. The protocol to the African charter on human and people's rights on the rights of women in Africa, a widely supported regional human rights treaty that has been ratified by 27 African countries, specifically prohibits "through legislative measures backed by sanctions, all forms of female genital mutilation, including medicalisation and para-medicalisation of female genital mutilation".

According to a member of the AAP's bioethics committee, the intention behind the revised 2010 policy is to issue a "statement on safety in a culturally sensitive context". The new policy justifies the shift from the 1998 terminology of "female genital mutilation" to "female genital cutting (FGC) or ritual genital cutting, by claiming that the former is "culturally insensitive language". It further validates paediatricians' offer to "nick" girls genitalia to "satisfy cultural requirements". This raises the question of what culture is being talked about and who are the gatekeepers of this culture that are being appeased – and what is the so-called "cultural identity" being preserved. Culture is fluid and evolves over time as practices that are rooted in inequality or injustice are questioned and abandoned. The AAP's current proposition undermines and negates local, national, and regional anti-FGM initiatives in Africa, which are equally a part of the cultural identity of communities where FGM occurs.

The AAP's statement would lead to greater harm to girls in the US by institutionalising what it sees as less severe forms of FGM. WHO and Unicef have cautioned governments against medicalisation of all forms of FGM including pricking and piercing because it "tends to obscure its human rights aspect and could hinder the development of long-term solutions for ending the practice". The statement comes at a time when the US legislature is seeking to close a loophole in its federal anti-FGM legislation, making it illegal for parents to take girls out of the US for FGM and thus preventing more severe forms of FGM.

But most importantly, the statement completely fails to recognise that human rights standards are absolute and not to be compromised upon in the name of possible harm reduction. The principle behind safeguarding human rights is harm elimination. The statement flies in the face of all international and regional deliberations on the issue, which have concluded that any medically unnecessary procedure to alter female genitalia constitutes a human rights violation and therefore must not be tolerated.

"Nicking" constitutes Type IV FGM, and the UN interagency statement clarifies that, "it has been considered important to maintain a broad definition of FGM in order to avoid loopholes that might allow the practice to continue".

The AAP must retract its statement.


Australian women you have been warned, you cannot permit your granddaughters to be born into a world where this could be the 'acceptable compromise'.

Why are Americans accepting this sick practice is BEYOND ME....

bloody idiots...


Millions of males are circumcised because in the long run, its more healthful for them and women... and initially a law requirement from God to believers. "God" never told the Muslims to practice cutting female genitals.... a whacko prophet did.

I don't think pandering to religious extremists is the way to go.

What should happen is that all the victims of this FGM should take to court their parents and sue the hell out of them... that should fix the problem.

It is completely barbaric to keep perpetuating a cultural practice that has NO basis in religion at all and does NOT belong in Western Countries... EVER.

The Chinese moved to rid their country of the sick practice of deforming women's feet by binding them and the Muslims can do the same in their cult with FGM...

As a woman, you should be OUTRAGED that these doctors are suggestin compromising.... but then again, aren't they the same pricks that encourage turning little boys into little girls when  little boys with underdeveloped penises were born?

Doctors get it wrong... they're getting this one WRONG TOO.....PERIOD.