A Michigan doctor was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly performing genital cutting on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota who were brought to the doctor by their parents. According to a criminal complaint filed on Wednesday, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 44, a physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, may also have performed the procedure on “multiple” other girls between 2005 and 2007.
“Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims,” said Kenneth Blanco, acting assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s criminal division. “The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse.”
According to investigators, one of the girls in the case said that cutting procedure left her screaming and barely able to walk. Nagarwala has reportedly denied performing any genital cutting procedures on children.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) remains prevalent in many countries across the world, particularly in Africa. Worldwide, more than 200 million girls and women have been subjected to the procedure — in the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that more than half a million women and girls are affected by or at risk of FGM.
Despite a longstanding ban on FGM in the U.S., where the practice has been illegal since 1996, federal officials said that the recent case is expected to be the first known prosecution under the law.
Read the full story at The New York Times.