Opinion | A Loss for Survivors of Female Genital Mutilation

To the Editor:

Re “Judge Says Federal Ban on Female Genital Mutilation Is Unconstitutional” (news article, Nov. 22):

As a survivor of female genital mutilation and a co-founder of There Is No Limit Foundation, a survivor-led nonprofit, I am deeply concerned by the decision of Judge Bernard Friedman to dismiss charges in Michigan against the people — including two doctors — accused of subjecting nine girls to female genital mutilation.

This ruling shows that we, the survivors, and the millions of girls at risk are alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 513,000 women and girls in the United States were at risk of or had been subjected to female genital mutilation in 2012.

Judge Friedman’s decision sends a negative message to survivors and those at risk about their rights over their bodies and their protection. It has the potential to strike fear in those willing to speak out.

We cannot give up our rights to our bodies. Change will come, and we must all break our silence and take action.

Aissata M.B. Camara
New York

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