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American Academy of Pediatrics

 
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS WITHDRAWS
POLICY STATEMENT ON FEMALE GENITAL CUTTING

For Immediate Release: May 27, 2010

CHICAGO -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has retired its 2010 policy statement on female genital cutting (FGC). The AAP Board of Directors has approved the following as AAP policy on FGC:

"The AAP reaffirms its strong opposition to FGC and counsels its members not to perform such procedures. As typically practiced, FGC can be life-threatening. Little girls who escape death are still vulnerable to sterility, infection, and psychological trauma.

"The AAP does not endorse the practice of offering a 'clitoral nick.' This minimal pinprick is forbidden under federal law and the AAP does not recommend it to its members.

"The AAP is steadfast in its goal of protecting all young girls from the harms of FGC."

AAP President Judith S. Palfrey, MD, FAAP, said, "Our intention is not to endorse any form of female genital cutting or mutilation. We retracted the policy because it is important that the world health community understands the AAP is totally opposed to all forms of female genital cutting, both here in the U.S. and anywhere else in the world.

"The AAP's goal is to protect the health and well-being of all children," Dr. Palfrey said. "One good thing to emerge is that this discussion has shone a bright light on this issue and raised the world’s awareness about this harm to young women."

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.