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Call Female Genital Mutilation What It Is—Sexual Assault

International Child Advocate and Head of #EndFGMToday Says FGM Supporters and Liberal Left Are Trying to Downplay This Barbaric Practice by Engaging in ‘Linguistic Lies

Washington, D.C.—Headlines about the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) are finally making their way to the general public, thanks to the first federal prosecution of an FGM doctor in Michigan. Dr. Jumana Nagarwala has been charged with conspiracy, genital mutilation, transporting minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, lying to a federal agent and obstructing an official proceeding. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison.

But even though the law has caught up with Dr. Nagarwala, some are still defending this brutal procedure performed on innocent, unsuspecting little girls—twisting the language around FGM in an attempt to make it appear less heinous.

Elizabeth Yore, international child advocate and head of the EndFGMToday initiative, says FGM supporters, liberal media and the Left in general are engaging in “linguistic lies,” especially as Dr. Nagarwala’s case progresses.

“The linguistic lies are already underway by the defense team and FGM supporters,” said Yore, who also formerly served as general counsel of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. “This brutal procedure performed on young girls from the ages of 5 to12 is done solely for the purposes of ensuring ‘purity’ and the inability to enjoy sexual pleasure throughout her adult life. The defense lawyer for Dr. Nagarwala has described the procedure as benign and merely removing a mucous membrane. Sounds inconsequential and genteel, but it is certainly not.”

Yore’s op-ed, “Female Genital Mutilation is not a ‘nick,’” was recently published by Fox News.

Yore also noted that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 513,000 women and girls in the U.S. are at risk for this brutal procedure. And the number of potential FGM victims is likely vastly unreported, she said. Despite the fact that the World Health Organization and the United Nations declared FGM a violation of human rights, more than 200 million women and girls are subjected to this torture around the world. Although this hideous practice has been outlawed under federal law since 1996, about half the states in the country are enacting their own laws.

“As an attorney in the child welfare system where every imaginable child abuse injury has crossed my desk, the genital mutilation and physical abuse inflicted on Dr. Nagarwala’s victims would be evidence that the defendant engaged in ‘torture’ and ‘sexual penetration with a foreign object’ under most state child welfare laws. Torture is not a mere nicking. Female genital mutilation is sexual assault, plain and simple, and it’s time to call FGM what it actually is.”

Learn more at and on social media at #EndFGMToday about FGM and efforts underway in the U.S. to stop it.