Global health organization talks female genital mutilation as local doctor faces charges

Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 18:19:11-04

Equality Now, a global health organization that works to protect and promote the rights of women and girls, is reacting to the recent arrest of a local doctor accused of performing FGM, or female genital mutilation.

In February, Dr. Jumana Nagarwala allegedly performed the procedure on two 7-year-old girls at a clinic in Livonia.

According to court documents, they were brought there by their mothers.

Shelby Quast, America's director for Equality Now, says FGM is "a really horrific form of violence and a form of child abuse. That's why we really want to see that it's stopped and prevent it from happening."

She says there are more than 200 million people living with FGM.

It can have lifelong health consequences that include infections, severe pain, hemorrhage, complications during childbirth and psychological trauma.

Quast says there is no religious text that calls for this, but people do it for a variety or reasons around the world.

They want to "fit into the community, prevent promiscuity and make them more marriage ready," she says.

Quast says she's encouraged to see Dr. Nagarwala's arrest for the alleged crimes. She says it's critical that we talk about FGM in order to stop it for good.

"This is part of a bigger issue. These girls have a right to their bodies. They're born perfect and don't need to be made differently so they can be accepted into society."

To learn more about FGM and the fight to stop it, go to