A federal prosecutor announced in court in June 2017 that the government estimates as many as 100 girls were subject to genital mutilation by a Michigan doctor.
Dr. Nagarwala was arrested in April 2017 and charged for mutilating genitalia of two 7 year old girls. A second Michigan doctor was also arrested a few days later for performing female genital mutilations on little girls.
On Tuesday a Michigan judge declared America’s ban on female genital mutilation is unconstitutional.
The Detroit Free Press reported:
In a major blow to the federal government, a judge in Detroit has declared America’s female genital mutilation law unconstitutional, thereby dismissing the key charges against two Michigan doctors and six others accused of subjecting at least nine minor girls to the cutting procedure in the nation’s first FGM case.
The historic case involves minor girls from Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, including some who cried, screamed and bled during the procedure and one who was given Valium ground in liquid Tylenol to keep her calm, court records show.
The judge’s ruling also dismissed charges against three mothers, including two Minnesota women whom prosecutors said tricked their 7 -year-old daughters into thinking they were coming to metro Detroit for a girls’ weekend, but instead had their genitals cut at a Livonia clinic as part of a religious procedure.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman concluded that “as despicable as this practice may be,” Congress did not have the authority to pass the 22-year-old federal law that criminalizes female genital mutilation, and that FGM is for the states to regulate. FGM is banned worldwide and has been outlawed in more than 30 countries, though the U.S. statute had never been tested before this case.
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Genital mutilation of girls, typically involving removal of all or part of the clitoris, is banned by several international treaties but remains a common cultural or religious practice in some African countries, including Somalia, Sudan and Egypt. (Egypt Independent)