Clitoraid Announces New Round of Clitoral Repair Surgeries in U.S. for FGM Victims
LAS VEGAS, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Las Vegas-based Clitoraid (www.clitoraid.org), a non-profit, all-volunteer organization initiated by Rael, founder and leader of the International Raelian Movement, announced Friday that its second round of female genital mutilation (FGM) reversal surgeries will take place March 2-3 in Trinidad, Colo.
Dr. Marci Bowers, Clitoraid's head surgeon, will be operating on eight Clitoraid-sponsored FGM victims to restore their ability to achieve physical satisfaction during sex. Each was deprived of that capacity in childhood through an act of horrific brutality, typically carried out by female relatives using crude instruments and no anesthesia.
One patient (whose name is withheld to protect her privacy) gave Clitoraid a written summary of the atrocity she had experienced as a helpless child.
"All I remember is... having two ladies hold my legs while another came toward me with a razor," the woman wrote. "I struggled and managed to escape, but they came after me in the street and held me down again. I weep as I type this, because this memory is so horrible. I spent weeks recovering, with ropes tied around my legs."
"Her story is tragically common in many countries, even the United States in some of the ethnic neighborhoods," said Clitoraid representative Nadine Gary. "Dr. Bowers was the first American doctor to volunteer and we hope more will follow. Clitoraid's goals are to eliminate FGM worldwide and help as many victims as possible with this new surgery."
She said those having the surgery in March range in age from 22 to over 50, and that their countries of origin include Japan, Korea, Liberia, Austria, Canada and the United States.
"But FGM is especially prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa," Gary added. "That's why Clitoraid is building its first clitoral repair hospital there, in the country of Burkina Faso. Victims will be treated for free. Dr. Bowers will perform the hospital's first surgeries in June, and she'll also train local doctors to perform the procedure."
About Dr. Bowers
A specialist in pelvic and gender-reassignment surgery, Bowers went to France to learn the procedure developed by Dr. Pierre Foldes that restores clitoral functioning. In 2009, she became the first U.S. surgeon to successfully perform this type of surgery when several Clitoraid-sponsored women traveled to her clinic to have the operation.