Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dialog on AAP's new Female Genital Cutting policy

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released it's Policy Statement on Ritual Genital Cutting of Female Minors. What little response I've seen to it thus far has come from individuals and groups which take a position on some or all medically unnecessary genital cutting on children. The response indicates controversy over the policy.

I have a lot of thoughts on this which I haven't fully sorted out. I intend to write several blog posts about it, and your comments will help shape the direction of the discussion.

Exemplifying the controversial statements in the policy is the following:
Most forms of FGC are decidedly harmful, and pediatricians should decline to perform them, even in the absence of any legal constraints. However, the ritual nick suggested by some pediatricians is not physically harmful and is much less extensive than routine newborn male genital cutting.
This statement troubles those who take a zero tolerance view of applying sharp objects to the genitals of children without medical necessity. It also seriously disturbs individuals and groups who would build a "wall of separation" between male and female genital cutting practices and find any comparison between male and female genital cutting to be offensive.

Here are some of my initial thoughts and questions.

Why has the AAP issued a policy statement on FGC at all? The practice is forbidden by law in the United States, which is the only nation they represent.

Is this news reported by Equality Now really just a random coincidence?
On 26 April 2010, ironically on the same date as the issuance of the AAP Statement, the United States Congress introduced new legislation amending the 1996 federal law prohibiting FGM to make it illegal to transport girls out of the country for purposes of FGM, also known as the “vacation provision.”
Will the sponsor and co-sponsor of the "vacation provision" amendment, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R - CA), also introduce MGMBill, which not only extends protection to American girls outside the borders of the United States but also extends protection to boys?

Does this policy signal anything about the stance the AAP will take on genital cutting of male minors when they release their policy on it?

No comments:

Post a Comment