horrible things

Michigan Doctor Charged With Performing Female Genital Mutilation

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala. Photo: Henry Ford Hospital

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, an emergency-room doctor at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital, has been charged with performing female genital mutilation on minors in what is believed to be the first FGM-related criminal case in the United States. She also faces a charge of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Per a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Nagarwala, 44, is accused of performing the procedure on girls aged 6 to 8, some of whom traveled out of state to a clinic in Livonia, Michigan, for her services. Investigators believe that she may have been performing such procedures since 2005.

The documents show that when one 7-year-old victim from Minnesota was interviewed by an FBI forensic expert, she was told she was going to Detroit for a “‘special’ girl’s trip” where she then went to the doctor’s to “get the germs out.” She elaborated that Nagarwala “‘pinched’ her on the ‘place [where] she goes pee.’”

“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls,” acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch said in a statement. “It is also a serious federal felony in the United States. The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”

A long-standing practice in some cultures, FGM is meant to suppress a woman’s libido through removal of the clitoris, though other forms of the procedure involve removing the labia minora and/or the labia majora as well. The World Health Organization — which estimates that 200 million women have been subjected to FGM — wholeheartedly condemns it.

Nagarwala has been placed on administrative leave from her job at Henry Ford and, if convicted, is facing five years to life in prison.

Michigan Doctor Charged With Female Genital Mutilation