Doctor facing charges for genital mutilation of two young girls
Dr. Nagarwala’s defense team explained she did perform a religious procedure that involved removing the membrane of each girls’ genitals, but did not perform any cutting.
LIVONIA, MICHIGAN — An emergency room doctor of the Henry Ford Clinic has been arrested for her alleged crimes against at least two young girls in a barbaric cultural practice made illegal in the US two decades ago.
In February of 2016, the girls, reportedly age 7, were brought by their mothers from Minnesota to an unnamed medical clinic in Livonia, Michigan, for what they were told was a “special girls trip.” One of the children said as she was being examined by Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, she suddenly felt pinched in her genital area, but was told to keep it a secret. The other little girl said she received an extremely painful shot, and suffered pain all the way down to her ankle, preventing her from being able to walk.
There are several types of female genital mutilation practiced, the most common involving the removal or partial removal of the clitoris and the labia.
After being tipped off that Dr. Nagarwala was performing FGM on young girls, the FBI tracked down the girls and had them interviewed and examined, both of which made clear something harmful and illegal had been carried out.
In a federal court on April 17, Dr. Nagarwala’s defense team explained that she did perform a religious procedure which involved removing the membrane of each girls’ genitals for their parents to then bury, a tradition carried out by an Indian Muslim sect known as the Dawoodi Bohra. But the doctor maintains there was no cutting involved.
The judge overseeing the hearing decided since Nagarwala performed the procedures in secret while knowing it was against the law, she is a danger to the community and will be placed in jail without bond until her trial begins.
The case against Dr. Nagarwala, 44, is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. A common practice in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, the U.N. reports roughly 200 million women and girls living today have been victims of some form of FGM, a procedure which acts to control a woman’s sexuality and offers no medical benefits whatsoever.
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