US Pediatric Academy Mulls Allowing Ritual Female 'Nick'

Clitoral 'pricking' like 'ear piercing,' say docs
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2010 3:16 AM CDT
Updated May 25, 2010 5:15 AM CDT
US Pediatric Academy Mulls Allowing Ritual Female 'Nick'
A hand out picture released by the family showing Badour Shaker, who died earlier this month while being circumcised in an illegal clinic in the southern city of Maghagha, Egypt. The death of a 10-year-old Egyptian girl at the hands of a doctor performing female circumcision in the country's south sparked...   (AP Photo/Al-Masry Al-Youm/HO)

(Newser) – The American Academy of Pediatrics is considering allowing doctors to perform female genital "nicks" in order to be "culturally sensitive" and satisfy parents seeking female circumcision. The move has infuriated activists battling the practice. A recent academy statement said doctors should try to dissuade parents from seeking the controversial cutting. But to avoid driving families to other countries for the procedure, “it might be more effective if laws enabled pediatricians to offer a ritual nick as a possible compromise to avoid greater harm," the statement added.

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"Pricking or incising the clitoral skin is no more of an alteration than ear piercing."
The shocking position fails to recognize the procedure "as gender-based violence performed to control women's sexuality," writes Lakshmi Anantnarayan in the Guardian. The organization's "casual comparison of 'nicking' girls' genitalia to ear piercing demonstrates how far" the organization now stands from UN agencies staunchly opposed to any such procedure. The new statement, backing off earlier strong opposition, was issued after NY Rep. Joseph Crowley introduced a bill making it illegal for parents to take girls out of the US to have their genitalia cut.
(Read more female genital mutilation stories.)

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