Female genital mutilation should be legalized in some forms, doctor says
The World Health Organization says female genital mutilation, or FGM, includes procedures that alter or injure female genitalia for non-medical reasons. The practice is recognized internationally as a human rights violation and is illegal in Canada.
It's horrible. It's painful. Mentally, emotionally, and physically. It cannot disappear. The pain will remain forever.- Activist Ifrah Amed on her experience with FGM in Somalia
Despite strong international condemnation, every year thousands of refugees arrive in countries such as Canada who have suffered from FGM. And the harmful practice continues to persist at abroad and at home.
A new paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics proposes a controversial solution asking if less invasive versions of the procedure should be tolerated and even suggests the ban is a form of cultural prejudice.
Guests in this segment:
- Dr. Allan Jacobs, co-author of the paper, Female genital alteration: a compromise solution and director of the gynecological oncology department at Coney Island Hospital.
- Maryum Saifee has written about her personal experience with female genital mutilation at the age of seven.
- Ruth Macklin, professor of bioethics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
This segment was produced by The Current's Ines Colabrese, Catherine Kalbfleisch and Karen Chen.