The process of female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision is served as a ritual practice in African countries and cultures, yet doctors are faced with an issue of illegality and immorality when African immigrants want these procedures performed here in the US.
Ever since the beginning of religion, Jews, Muslims, and Christians have practiced male circumcision. This practice was scene as both sanitary, holy, and if done properly, harmless. This practice became so popular that civilization has carried out into current time, in which male circumcision still serves as a very popular procedure today. However what most Americans don’t know is that this procedure isn’t only done on males in other areas of the world. In countries like Africa, this procedure is also performed on females as well.
African cultures believe that FGM’s are just as holy for females as they are for males. They believe it is a time to celebrate. They feel that a FGM will bring fertility, prevent diseases, and bring a good husband. Some people think as ridiculously as that, a man will die if he touches a clitoris, a baby will die if its head touches it, or the clitoris will grow into a penis if left untouched.
There are many complications that girls go through because of these procedures. Since the countries in Africa are so poor, people cannot afford sanitary hospitalization for their practices. Many times an FGM will be performed with broken glass, or scissors. Their ridiculous beliefs cross an even more extreme line when they spread raw egg on the female, or animal excrement because they believe it will help stop the bleeding.
There are very many complications a woman goes through because of these practices. Girls can often go into shock, have unstoppable bleeding and very many various diseases of the lower region. HIV/ Aids is also often times possible and sometimes even immediate death. Even if women don’t have immediate complications, they will in the future. Many FGMs will result in tearing, which makes it more likely to receive HIV.
Not only is this process dangerous to one’s health, but also it is also demeaning, since it is completely disregarding a woman as a sexual being. It a major sexual sensation spot, where as on a male penis, no sexual sensation is removed, in an FGM, it is completely destroyed.
Here in America this method is not practiced, yet when Africans immigrated to the United States, and wanted the procedures performed on their daughters doctors were lost. Especially after 1997 when the procedure became altogether illegal. Now doctors are facing a horrible dilemma. It would be offensive to refuse Africans their services, and also dangerous because it would leave the procedure in their own hands, but it would be illegal and immoral actually go through with the procedure.