Our Position

ACOG joins the World Health Organization (WHO) and American Medical Association in opposing all forms of medically unnecessary surgical modification of the female genitalia. FGM -- also known as female genital cutting or female circumcision -- is described by WHO as comprising “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitals, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” It is estimated that more than 513,000 girls and women in the U.S. have experienced or are at risk of FGM.

In the U.S., it is illegal under federal law to perform FGM on anyone under age 18 or to knowingly transport a girl out of the U.S. to perform FGM. Many state laws also prohibit FGM on minors, and some states prohibit the practice on adult women.

Nationally and in the states, ACOG supports laws that:

  • Ban the practice
  • Promote greater public awareness and education in schools and among the medical and law enforcement communities
  • Pequire documentation of public awareness efforts and prosecutions
  • Strengthen anti-trafficking laws to prevent girls being transported across state borders to perform FGM