*BREAKING* Female Genital Mutilation On The Rise In Texas
"Snip It, Ladies!"
JUNE 28, 2013 11:35 AM ET -Austin Texas - In a surprising legislative twist, Texas filibustering politician Wendy Davis seems to now be supporting the decriminalization of female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM), a barbaric practice that involves the mutilation of the female clitoris with the goal promoting chastity by reducing sexual desire for the female victim. Despite the fact that this procedure is banned internationally, is a direct result of gender inequality and causes severe physical and emotional damage, certain pro-choice feminists appear to be cornered into promoting access to the procedure. Davis recently stated, “If women can’t control their own bodies, no rights are safe”. She also added that she spoke for “thousands of Texans” who seek privacy and liberty regarding “all medical procedures” on women. FGM does not appear to be exempt.
When other feminist leaders were pressed regarding broad healthcare access for women, many appeared to jump on-side in supporting FGM. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius stated, "I'm alarmed about restrictions being passed by various legislators that take out of the control of women and their partners and their doctors and their priests and their aestheticians, their own decision about their own healthcare," she said. "I think women should make their own decisions." Even if those choices impact other girls and women, it appears that some feel that the right to choose can’t be limited in any way.
International women’s rights groups have been working for more than 50 years to eradicate FGM and many leaders in the movement seem shocked and disappointed that the rhetoric in the US reproductive rights debate has broadened to the point of “abandoning many of the women they originally sought to help”. Some of those leaders also expressed concern about how the language of women leaders, including Davis and Sebelius, is affecting other women’s issues. One teen suicide prevention charity Executive refused to go on record but did state that, “Since reproductive rights have been central in most discussions about women’s health, we understand that this makes it very difficult for these leaders to restrict personal autonomy by turning around and telling young women that they “shouldn’t” commit suicide. We also know that would be hypocritical and that abortion rights seem to supersede any other women’s health concerns for many politicians. It’s a shame because many young women are receiving mixed messages.”
Several women leading non-profits in other areas pertaining to women’s health refused to go on record and one stated, “We all saw what happened to Komen last year when they tripped over the issue of abortion. Our work depends on our donors and our ability to focus on helping women in need. We can’t afford to be used as political pawns or scapegoats.”
So despite the apparent harm resulting from procedures like FGM and tragedies like teen suicide, it appears that many pro-choice advocates, especially politicians, are trapped into inaction and complicit support by one of their most cherished sound bites, “My body, my choice.”