LAS VEGAS, May 7 – As its annual Clitoris Awareness Week (May 3-10) continues, Clitoraid, a non-profit organization in both the United Kingdom and the United States, is denouncing Britain's repeated refusal to allow clitoral repair surgery for victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the United Kingdom.
“Despite its extensive, well-publicized measures to end FGM on British soil, the British government still won’t let the surgery be performed there,” said Nadine Gary, spokesperson for Clitoraid. “We’re about to open a hospital for FGM victims in the West African country of Burkina Faso, where any woman will be able to have the procedure through Clitoraid for free. “So we’re asking the British government to immediately change its policy. Prohibiting clitoral repair surgery for FGM victims downplays the importance of the clitoris, the beautiful organ so essential to female health and dignity. And of course the clitoris provides the sense of pleasure most Western women take for granted. That capacity has been brutally taken from FGM victims.”
Gary said that in 2013, Minister Lynne Featherstone proudly announced a 35-million-pound program aimed to eradicate FGM within a generation, both in the United Kingdom and in the countries where the barbaric practice originated.
“We immediately contacted Ms. Featherstone and offered to train U.K. surgeons in the clitoral restorative procedure for FGM victims,” she said. “Our two American Clitoraid volunteer surgeons, Dr. Marci Bowers and Dr. Harold Henning, have successfully offered it in the U.S. for several years already.”
"Why would the U.K. deny women who have suffered genital mutilation the right to recover their genital integrity and sexual pleasure?” Henning asked. “It’s just outrageous. After all, a free U.K. medical service is already in place to repair their vaginal openings for reproductive purposes!”
Henning said that because the U.K.’s Royal College of Oobstetricians and Gynecologists (ROCG) vetoed the offering of the clitoral repair procedure in the U.K., Clitoraid has had to send 11 United Kingdom FGM patients thus far to Dr. Pierre Foldes in Paris. [Foldes developed the clitoral repair technique.] Three times as many have written to Clitoraid to enquire about the service.
Henning explained that Anna Soubry, the U.K.’s Public Health Minister, has stated: "The [UK] reversal procedure is quite straightforward. We use local anesthetic, make a small incision, and then sew over the edges [of the vulva], so the women are then a normal size for childbirth and making love."
"Making love: exactly what does Ms. Soubry mean by that?” Henning asked. “Does she mean facilitating penetration for the male partner of the FGM victim, thereby enhancing his pleasure while only making it less painful for his partner?"
"If Britain really wants to eliminate FGM, it needs to show that it embraces and promotes sexual pleasure and integrity for all women,” Gary said. “And it needs to adopt every measure needed to reach that goal, starting with giving FGM victims easy access to the surgical procedure that restores the clitoris."
Clitoraid is a public charity and has been granted tax exempt status (section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code). US taxpayers can deduct donations to us from their federally-taxable income. Our tax-ID# is: 20-4818106