A Detroit emergency room physician was charged with a “first of its kind” federal case, after being accused of mutilating girl’s genitals.
The Washington Post reports that Jumana Nagarwala, 44, of Northville, is charged with several federal offenses, including “transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, female genital mutilation, and making false statements to an officer.”
According to FBI Special Agent Kevin J. Swanson, Nagarwala is accused of removing parts of girls’ genitalia for non-medical reasons, a human rights violation. So far, there are two girls, both 7 years old, who reportedly went through the unnecessary surgery, but authorities think that there are many others who went through the procedure as well.
— Rick Sparfven (@Frettlessrick) April 14, 2017
According to the Justice Department’s Criminal Division’s acting attorney, Kenneth A. Blanco, authorities plan to use the full extent of U.S. law to stop genital mutilation from occurring.
“According to the complaint, despite her oath to care for her patients, Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims. 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.”
Genital mutilation is accepted by law in some areas of Africa, as well as several parts of the Middle East. With increased immigration into the U.S., the practice of genital mutilation and cutting has increased in the nation, although it’s illegal in all states. Members of certain religious and/or cultural groups are well aware and in agreeance with the procedure since they reportedly think it’s a way to “curb sexuality in girl.” Nagarwala is allegedly a member of a group that accepts the procedure.
Nagarwala, a physician at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, was placed on administrative leave. Although authorities said that she didn’t perform the procedure at Henry Ford, hospital officials said that the procedure was unwelcome and illegal.
“We would never support or condone anything related to this practice.”
One of the little girls told detectives she was brought to Michigan to see Nagarwala for a “special girl’s trip.” The other little told authorities she received a “painful shot.”
Nagarwala reportedly admitted to detectives that she knew the procedure was illegal, but denied ever performing the surgery. She also denied that anyone in her community had the procedure done.
[Feature Photo: Henry Ford Health]