FGM charge obscures the true issues

Fahma Mohamed with FGM peitition outside DfE

Fahma Mohamed, who spearheaded a campaign for the perils of FGM to be highlighted in British schools. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian

We are all consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists who seem right after, or have looked following, girls who have suffered female genital mutilation. We wish to express our serious anxiety about the determination to prosecute a medical professional for alleged mutilation right after a delivery (Health care professionals criticise prosecutions above FGM, 26 March). In this case, it is clear that the woman had undergone the practice prior to her pregnancy.  

Female genital mutilation is a horrendous practice the most serious type involves cutting off a girl’s clitoris and labia and suturing the remaining tissue with each other, leaving a little hole for the passage of urine and menstrual blood. The practice is carried out in many nations, and probably influences more than a one hundred million women.

When women who have suffered FGM are pregnant, they might need to have the vaginal opening widened to permit the child out. If this is not done ahead of labour, it will require to be completed at the time of delivery. This could leave a bleeding region that demands to be repaired.  

There is the planet of distinction in between FGM and repairing cuts that are needed to let a baby’s delivery. Prosecuting pros for so-referred to as FGM beneath these circumstances distracts us from the genuine concerns – namely, making certain that girls are not sent abroad for FGM, that this kind of operations are not carried out in the Uk, and that we help men and women in countries in which this is endemic to modify cultural attitudes.
Naaila Aslam, Chris Barnick, Mark Broadbent, Melanie Davies, Edgar Dorman, James Drife, Katrina Erskine, Abha Govind, Matt Hogg, Penelope Law, Nick Nicholas, Louise Page, Maryam Parisaei, Avanti Patel, Catharine Roberts, Audrey Ryan, Ali Sajjad, Robert Sawdy, Amit Shah, Anthony Silverstone, Geeta Suri
Consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists, London and Leeds

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