A Detroit doctor has been charged with performing female genital mutilation. She becomes the first one to be charged with the criminal act under federal law.
Jumana Nagarwala of Northville, Michigan has been arrested and charged with performing the said procedure on girls who were between the ages 6 to 8 from her office on Livonia, Michigan.
Performing female genital mutilation is considered a federal felony. The Justice Department says Nagarwala is the first case brought under the statute. It was also revealed that the young victims of Nagarwala traveled out of their way to have the procedure performed by her.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said that what Nagarwala has been performing on the poor girls was against her physician's oath to care for her patients. Blanco also described the acts performed on the girls as brutal and horrifying. The procedure known as " FGM" involves the partial or total removal of a girl or a woman's external genitalia.
The practice is commonly performed in the Middle East and Africa as a cultural custom. But from a medical and health perspective, it has been proven to offer no benefit at all. Congress has declared the act illegal in 1996. As of 2012, more than 510,000 women and girls in the country were at risk of undergoing FGM, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The United Nations also considers the procedure as an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls.
The Department of Justice said it is strongly committed to stopping female genital mutilation in the U.S. They promise to use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse. Performing genital mutilation is still being practiced for "religious and cultural" reasons in other countries, but there will be no justification to perform it on U.S. soil no matter the race of the patient. Any doctor or anyone who performs it on girls and women will face criminal charges as Nagarwala did.