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A week and a half ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a revised<br>
statement on "female genital cutting." They softened their language from<br>
previously calling it "female genital mutilation" to be more "culturally<br>
sensitive". In an attempt to address the double standard in the way our culture treats cutting of female genitals and cutting of male genitals, instead of choosing to extend complete protection against genital cutting to both sexes, they instead chose to endorse the idea of medical professionals offering "non-harmful" cutting of females as a compromise. Of course, even nicks or pinpricks of female genitals are illegal by federal law, but this does not seem to faze the AAP. And there is also an unspoken assumption that male circumcision is itself "non-harmful," so they seem fine with leaving that right where it is. So, even though this statement is about FGM, it reflects on MGM as well. And who is to judge what is non-harmful? How about the child whose body is being cut? The right of human beings to bodily integrity and self-determination is still the bottom line.<br><br>
Human rights groups and FGM advocacy groups from all over the world have<br>
responded with sharp criticism of the AAP, and I encourage all of us as individuals to do so as well.<br><br>
The full AAP statement can be read here:<br><br><a href="http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;125/5/1088.pdf" target="_blank">http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...125/5/1088.pdf</a><br><br>
A selection of press releases responding to this concerning move on the AAP's<br>
part can be found here:<br><br><a href="http://intactamerica.org/aap_fgm" target="_blank">http://intactamerica.org/aap_fgm</a> [includes link to AAP statement]<br><a href="http://equalitynow.org/english/takeaction/newsalert/urgentalert_us_20100429_en.html" target="_blank">http://equalitynow.org/english/takea...100429_en.html</a><br><br>
You can respond to the AAP (editing their sample letter as you wish, to reflect<br>
points about MGM) by automatic messaging at:<br><br><a href="http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6208/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2854" target="_blank">http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/...ction_KEY=2854</a><br><br>
Here is contact information for all AAP personnel related to this position statement, if you wish to write them individually as well:<br><br>
AAP Board of Directors Executive Committee<br><br>
Errol Alden, M.D.<br>
American Academy of Pediatrics<br>
141 Northwest point Blvd.<br>
Elk Grove, IL 60007<br><br>
David T. Tayloe, M.D.<br>
Goldsboro Pediatrics<br>
2706 Medical Office Place<br>
Goldsboro, NC 27534<br><br><br>
AAP Bioethics committee 2006-2007 (which authored this position statement)<br><br>
Douglas S. Diekema, M.D.<br>
Department of Emergency Services<br>
Children's Hospital & Medical Center<br>
4800 Sand Point Way NE<br>
Seattle, WA 98105<br><br>
Steven R. Leuthner, MD<br>
Pain and Palliative Care Center<br>
9000 West Wisconsin Avenue Suite 640<br>
Milwaukee, WI 53226<br>
(414) 266-2775<br><br>
Steven R. Leuthner, MD<br>
Children's Research Institute<br>
8701 Watertown Plank Road<br>
MS 214<br>
Wauwatosa, WI 53226<br>
Phone: (414) 266-6706<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br>
Lainie F. Ross, MD<br>
Comer Children's Hospital<br>
University of Chicago<br>
5721 S. Maryland Avenue<br>
Chicago, IL 60637<br><br>
Lainie F. Ross, MD<br>
Friend Family Health Center<br>
800 E. 55th Street<br>
Chicago, IL 60615<br><br>
Judith S. Palfrey, M.D.<br>
President, AAP<br>
Children's Hospital Boston<br>
300 Longwood Avenue<br>
Hunnewell 201.3<br>
Boston, MA 02115<br><br>
O. Marion Burton, MD (President – Elect AAP)<br>
South Carolina School of Medicine<br>
Department of Pediatrics<br>
Colombia, SC 29208<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br>
AAP Bioethics committee 2010:<br><br>
Mary E Fallat, MD –<br>
University Pediatric Surgery<br>
234 E Gray St Ste 210<br>
Louisville, KY 40202-3702<br><br>
Ian Ronald Holzman MD FAAP<br>
1 Gustave L Levy Place<br>
New York, NY, 10029<br><br>
Kathryn Louise Weise MD FAAP<br>
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus<br>
Mail Code S10A<br>
9500 Euclid Avenue<br>
Cleveland, OH 44195<br><br>
Armand H. Matheny Antommaria MD<br>
Department of Pediatrics<br>
Primary Children's Medical Center<br>
100 North Medical Drive<br>
Salt Lake City, UT 84113<br>
(801) 662-3650<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br>
Sally Webb, MD<br>
Pediatric Critical Care<br>
MUSC Rutledge Tower<br>
135 Rutledge Ave<br>
RT290A<br>
Charleston South Carolina 29403<br><br>
Aviva L. Katz, MD<br>
Children's North Medical Center<br>
2599 Wexford Bayne Road<br>
Sewickley, PA 15143<br>
(724) 935-8400<br><br>
Aviva L. Katz, MD<br>
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg<br>
Dept of Pediatric General &<br>
Thoracic Surgery<br>
4401 Penn Avenue, Floor 4<br>
Pittsburgh, PA 15224<br>
412-692-8735<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br><br>
Liaisons to 06-07 Bioethics Committee re: this policy statement<br><br>
Jeffrey L. Ecker, MD (ACOG)<br>
Vincent Obstetrics<br>
55 Fruit Street, Suite 4F<br>
Boston, MA, 02114<br><br>
Marcia Levetown, MD (Am Board of Pediatrics)<br>
281-804-5714<br>
Healthcare Communication Associates .com<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br>
Philip L. Baese, MD<br>
Neuro Behavioral Home Program<br>
650 Komas Drive, Suite 200<br>
Salt Lake City, UT, 84108<br><br>
Steven J Ralston, MD (ACOG)<br>
Tufts New England Medical Center<br>
800 Washington St.<br>
Department of Neonatology<br>
Boston, MA 02111<br><br>
Ellen Tsai, MD (Canadian Paediatric Society)<br>
Kingston General Hospital<br>
76 Stuart Street<br>
Kingston, Ontario K7L 2V7<br>
Canada<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br>
Jessica Wilen Berg, JD (Legal Consultant)<br>
Case Western Reserve University<br>
Department of Bioethics<br>
Cleveland, Ohio 44106<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br>
216-368-6363<br><br><br>
“Consultant” and lead author of this FGC Statement<br><br>
Dena S. Davis, JD, PhD<br>
Case Western Reserve University<br>
Department of Bioethics<br>
Cleveland, Ohio 44106<br>
216-687-2312<br><a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>
 

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This is from Intact America:<br><br>
"We thought America's baby girls were safe from genital cutting, until now...<br><br>
Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a new policy statement proposing changes to the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act, a law that has prohibited any form of FGM in the United States since 1996.<br><br>
But now the AAP wants to change the law to allow a "ritual nick" of girls' genitals, so families whose cultures accept FGM don't send their daughters overseas for the full genital cutting procedure.<br><br>
At Intact America, we know that any form of genital cutting of babies is wrong – ethically, morally, and medically"<br><br>
Sign this petition asking to retract their statement -<br><br><a href="http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5922/tellafriend.jsp?tell_a_friend_KEY=1981&key=6249687" target="_blank">http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/...81&key=6249687</a>
 

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to the pp, when I clicked your link I got the after signing page... I found this link in the email it said to send to all your friends, it takes you straight to the petition...<br><a href="http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5922/t/6483/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2449" target="_blank">http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/...paign_KEY=2449</a><br><br>
I signed both of these so far. Thanks for drawing attention to the AAP backtracking (probably so they could save face in the male circumcision argument and all the money they make from the unnecessary surgeries)
 

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please join the facebook group!<br><br>
"get the AAP to retract their FGM policy statement"<br><br>
anyone know how to link directly to a fb group?
 

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try this:<br><a href="http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#!/group.php?gid=122379037788692" target="_blank">http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref...22379037788692</a>
 

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so i posted it on my face book and someone has asked what this organizations game plan is to keep these people from sending girls overseas for the full procedure if the ritual nick isn't allowed. so um... what should i say? obviously i think that the us should allow no form of fgc or mgc in any way but he does bring a good question.....
 

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In some of the press releases it states there is legislation started to make that illegal in the US (sending a minor abroad for circumcision). Send them a link on that.<br>
The other point is that 1) how many people are going to send their daughter overseas to undergo circumcision 2) how many people that would have done nothing might now have a minor nick done 3) if a parent would send their daughter overseas for a full procedure (or consider it) are they really going to be appeased by this 'compromise'<br><br>
I think that if he is really that concerned about this he should look around at FGM organizations and see how many of them are proposing this. I just continue to ask myself why in the heck is the AAP even putting in their two cents about this?<br><br>
Jessica
 

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Here's the quote from the Equality Now pr:
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It is ironic that the AAP issued its statement the very same day that Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) announced the introduction of new bipartisan legislation, The Girls Protection Act (H.R. 5137), to close the loophole in the federal law prohibiting FGM by making it illegal to transport a minor girl living in the U.S. out of the country for the purpose of FGM</td>
</tr></table></div>
<a href="http://equalitynow.org/english/pressroom/press_releases/usaap_20100505_en.html" target="_blank">http://equalitynow.org/english/press...100505_en.html</a><br><br>
Also, there was a good article in the NYT about this<br><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/health/policy/07cuts.html" target="_blank">http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/he...cy/07cuts.html</a><br>
The defense seems to be related to this reasoning by the AAP: "And the statement said that, “in some countries where FGC is common, some progress toward eradication or amelioration has been made by substituting ritual ‘nicks’ for more severe forms.” "<br>
Again, the difference (imo) is this is the US where FGM is not practiced verses a country and culture where FGM is ingrained in the culture. I also think that you can find many organizations working to eradicate FGM that do not agree this is an acceptable compromise. I believe the WHO policy is zero-tolerance.<br><br>
As an update to my FB status, I had a few people comment- but not from anyone who I was hoping to inspire some response from. It is nice to hear from people I expect would be concerned, but I just thought it might throw off more people.<br><br>
Jessica
 

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What the frikin-frik! Who are these people? WTH? OMG! are they clueless? I am so ANGRY!<br><br>
How about diaper checks (by Drs) upon re-entering the country, and if your dd is missing her labia you go to jail. That should stop parents from sending thier kids out of country to be mutilated. Seriously, WTH?!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:i rked<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"> ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
When is the rest of the world going to get 'it'? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">
 

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This totally shocked me. I couldn't believe it<br>
I just read a blog post from a woman who had this done to her daughter.<br>
Really mindblowing.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kristinekristine</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15385241"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">so i posted it on my face book and someone has asked what this organizations game plan is to keep these people from sending girls overseas for the full procedure if the ritual nick isn't allowed. so um... what should i say? obviously i think that the us should allow no form of fgc or mgc in any way but he does bring a good question.....</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
honor killings happen in other countries.........should we allow an "honor beating" here just so they don't take them to another country for a killing? Where does the slippery slope end?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>A&A</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15411667"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">honor killings happen in other countries.........should we allow an "honor beating" here just so they don't take them to another country for a killing? Where does the slippery slope end?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Exactly. We shouldn't legalize any abuse of children, whether big or small. Our gov't will have to come up with another solution to the problem of people sending their daughters overseas to be mutilated. I don't know what that solution is, but it simply can't be to allow a "ritual nick." The line must be drawn somewhere if we are to preserve our own ethics.<br><br>
p.s. has there been any discussion on whether this AAP policy thing is a move to protect male circumcision? Maybe they fear that some groups will make (or have made?) the argument that if you allow boys to be circed you must also allow girls. (I know we can't discuss religious circ of boys here so I'm trying to avoid that.)
 

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Please remember you are in Activism and there is no debate allowed in here. I know this is a big deal, and makes everyone angry, but we have to follow the rules too.<br><br>
Please do no link to blogs in order for people to go and flame the blogger. That is a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nono.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nono">
 

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I posted this to my facebook and am surprised at the lack of response or inquiry. I did NOT make any connection to MGM. Just wondering if others had success phrasing this in a way that the average person could grasp. I'm just shocked that people didn't at least say WTF???? about it.<br>
FGM- seems like a no-brainer to be shocked by.<br>
Jessica
 

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Also does anyone have any other links to groups, agencies, nonprofits that have commented on this. I know Equality Now.<br>
I found this: <a href="http://www.fgmnetwork.org/index.php" target="_blank">http://www.fgmnetwork.org/index.php</a> (May 2010 news, a few articles)<br><a href="http://www.vday.org/node/1830" target="_blank">http://www.vday.org/node/1830</a><br><a href="http://www.ippf.org/en/News/Intl+news/Why+are+US+doctors+allowing+genital+mutilation.htm" target="_blank">http://www.ippf.org/en/News/Intl+new...mutilation.htm</a><br><br>
Unfortunatly most of the press releases are confusing things a bit. The AAP has not recommended that doctors do this ritual nick. The AAP has<br>
1. changed it from FGM to FGC (cutting)<br>
2. said that drs might lobby for a change to the law<br>
3. admitted there is a double standard because in the US male circumcision is allowed<br>
4. implied that male circumcision is not harmful<br><br>
That's ENOUGH to be outraged by... I think.<br><br>
I need to fix my browser, it's not set on a good search engine and I don't know how to change the default, so annoying... but anyways I'm not having luck pulling thigns up.<br><br>
Jessica
 

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Jessica,<br><br>
I also was ASTOUNDED at the lack of response when I posted this on my facebook! The ONLY people who responded were my "birth-related friends"!<br>
I don't know what to make of the lack of concern, except that perhaps the people that circumcised their boys realized it would be hypocritical to get up in arms over it?? Who knows!
 

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ARC's May 10 letter to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) hsa been electronically published at <a href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/eletters?lookup=by_date&days=30#50145" target="_blank">http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...&days=30#50145</a>. The letter was written in response to the AAP's recent position statement on female genital cutting (FGC), which condones minimal forms of FGC. We will be sending an expanded version of the letter to all the members of the AAP committee that drafted the position statement. The AAP position statement is available at <a href="http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/pediatrics;125/5/1088" target="_blank">http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...ics;125/5/1088</a>.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Dear AAP:<br><br>
We have reviewed the AAP’s latest policy statement on female genital cutting (FGC) and we are shocked to see such an ethically and medically incoherent document issue from your venerable organization. What truly is paradoxical is for the nation’s leading organization of doctors treating children to weaken its opposition to a practice proven to cause substantial, irreparable, lifelong harm to children.<br><br>
Moreover, your proposed, seemingly innocent “ritual nick” almost certainly violates the Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, whose criminal provisions became effective in March 1997.<br><br>
We trust that lightening your opposition to female genital cutting is not <span style="color:#FFFFFF;">being done to help set up a parallel move toward diluting your 1999 statement on male circumcision (MGC). Flawed as the latter statement was, it did acknowledge the lack of medical benefit to the procedure on males. It is imperative that both statements be maintained or strengthened.<br><br>
The AAP has no business brokering cultural procedures, even those that may support future revenue streams for some of its members. In this time of reduced resources, more than ever, it is imperative that medical organizations such as the AAP focus on what matters most—promoting the safety of our children, and working to eradicate—not condone or justify—harmful, non-beneficial, unethical practices such as FGC and MGC.<br><br>
J. Steven Svoboda<br>
Attorneys for the Rights of the Child</span></td>
</tr></table></div>
Thank you Mr. Svoboda!
 

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New campaign- ad in Washington Post:<br><br><a href="https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5922/t/6483/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=2102" target="_blank">https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o..._page_KEY=2102</a>
 

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This is shocking to me. I had no idea. There are many countries in the middle east and Africa that have outlawed FGM and have been campaigning to change the culture in their own countries. For better or worse, they often look to the U.S. as a leader in various areas. What will happen, I wonder, if some FGM advocates over there get wind of what our AAP is recommending????
 
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