Crowley Praises American Academy of Pediatrics for Reversing its Ruling on Female Genital Mutilation

May 27, 2010
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), author of the Girls Protection Act (H.R. 5137), issued the following statement in response to the decision by the American Academy of Pediatrics to reverse its position that doctors should be permitted to perform a type of female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls in the United States:

“I realize the Academy had only good intentions when it ruled that a certain type of FGM should be permitted in the United States, but it was not the right approach.  We cannot lower the bar when it comes to protecting the health and well-being of young women and girls.

“I applaud the Academy for reversing its position, and I hope they will re-channel their efforts.  And, I am going to continue pressing Congress to fund strong, comprehensive community-based outreach and education effort to prevent this human rights abuse, as well enact my legislation that would ensure law enforcement has the necessary tools to protect girls from being taken abroad for the purposes of FGM.”

Congressman Crowley is a 6-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives who sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and House Committee on Ways and Means.  He introduced the Girls Protection Act (H.R. 5137) in April 2010, which would make it a federal crime to transport a minor outside the United States for the purpose of female genital mutilation (FGM). Crowley was the first member of Congress to speak out against The American Academy of Pediatrics for issuing a statement on April 26th in which it stated that a certain type of Female Genital Mutilation – which it called a “prick” – could be conducted by doctors in the United States as a way of preventing girls from being taken abroad for the purposes of FGM.  The Academy described its proposal as a “compromise” which could potentially prevent other types of FGM.