At the hands of two physicians in the state of Michigan, it is alleged that young girls were subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). The ongoing court case involves six girls but prosecutors estimate that a hundred may have been cut by Dr. Nagarwala in the secrecy of Dr. Attar’s clinic over the years. The families and physicians involved in the case are all part of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a sect of Islam hailing from India which practices FGM.
Female genital mutilation is a form of violence against women and girls used to control their sexuality, and has been condemned by the international community, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations, as a human rights abuse. In the United States, there is a federal law banning the practice and 25 states have outlawed the procedure.
And for good reason.
According to the criminal complaint filed, the investigators in the Michigan FGM case reported that the first girl’s “labia minor [had] been altered or removed, and the clitoral hood [was] also abnormal in appearance.” The second reported that she could barely walk following the procedure. The types of injuries inflicted upon these girls, and potentially dozens of others victimized by these physicians, often result in lifelong physical and psychological consequences including shock, blood loss, infection, difficulties with urination and menstruation, and sometimes even death.
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