Jumana Nagarwala, a 44-year-old woman from Northville, Michigan, has been arrested and charged in connection to performing female genital mutilation on multiple underage girls. According to WXYZ Detroit, Nagarwala is an emergency room doctor at the Henry Fort Hospital and is accused of performing the procedure on girls that range in age six to eight. According to the criminal complaint obtained by WXYZ Detroit, Nagarwala performed the genital mutilation at a medical clinic in Livonia, Michigan.
One case in particular involved a girl who was 7-years-old at the time she met with Nagarwala. The girl’s family brought her to the Livonia clinic from Minnesota and told the child she was being brought to the Detroit area for “a special girls trip.” The young girl also said that she was told she had to see the doctor to “get the germs out” and later identified Nagarwala as the one who performed the procedure on her.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been illegal in the U.S. since 1996 and is considered a violation of human rights internationally. However, a Center of Disease Control (CDC) study from 2012 showed that over a half million girls in America are at risk of FGM due to the increase of immigration from countries where the procedure is a common religious or cultural practice. Most readily, FGM is found in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
“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,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco, as quoted by WXYZ Detroit. “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.”
The Henry Ford Hospital where Nagarwala works as an emergency room doctor issued the following statement:
The alleged criminal activity did not occur at any Henry Ford facility. We would never support or condone anything related to this practice. The doctor has immediately been placed on administrative leave.