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Western media coverage of female genital surgeries in Africa called 'hyperbolic' and 'one sided'
Date:11/13/2012

f Yeshiva University, takes issue with its depiction of the facts and points to crucial information that is missing from the statement, including numerous statements and resolutions by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics opposing the performance of female genital cutting and opposing any efforts to medicalize the procedure, and studies documenting significant harm to women who have undergone the procedure, as well as a change in attitude among younger women in countries where the prevalence of female genital cutting is high.

In another commentary, Nikola Biller-Andorno, director of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics at the University of Zurich, and Verina Wild, the institute's deputy director, argue that enough evidence now exists to define the conditions under which female genital cutting is morally unacceptable. They state that it would be unimaginable to conduct a randomized, controlled trial of the practice or to undertake long-term cohort studies, because such research would in fact condone female genital cutting. "Requiring more data before committing to a stance against clearly unacceptable forms of female genital cutting is not a proof of neutrality," they conclude. "It means failing to protect a very vulnerable population." The authors also call into question the Advisory Network's depiction of women's autonomy, suggesting instead that women may be compelled to undergo female genital cutting, because they cannot deviate from their local customs and social structures.

In the third commentary, Dr. Nawal M. Nour, an obstetrician-gynecologist and director of the African Women's Health Center (AWHC) at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, writes that her patients have endured both major and minor long-term complications from female genital cutting. Nour also states her concern that the Advisory Network's presentation of data is biased. For example, she writes that the statement that "a high percentage of women ha
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Contact: Michael Turton
turtonm@thehastingscenter.org
845-424-4040 x242
The Hastings Center
Source:Eurekalert

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