Female Genital Mutilation And Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Pamela Nolan Ninoska Garcia-Ortiz

What is Female Genital Mutilation?
genital mutilation (FGM), often referred to as 'female circumcision', comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons. (WHO, 2000)
 Female

Normal Vagina

 Normal

female genitalia with clitoris, labia minora and labia majora intact.

Type 1 FGM

usually involves excision of the clitoral hood (prepuce), with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris. In some cultures it may involve a ritual pricking or nicking of the clitoral hood, without removal of any tissue.

Type 2 FGM
 form

of female circumcision most commonly seen.  It involves excision of the clitoris with partial or total excision of the labia minora. The tissue is joined in the midline above, or just over urethra.

Type 3 FGM
 Type

3 FGM is the most extreme presentation. It involves excision of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching/ narrowing of the vaginal opening.


Immediate complications include severe pain, shock, haemorrhage, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissue. Haemorrhage and infection can cause death.

Long-term consequences include cysts and abscesses, keloid scar formation, damage to the urethra resulting in urinary incontinence, dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse) and sexual dysfunction and difficulties with childbirth.

Who performs it?

is usually performed by a traditional practitioner with crude instruments and without anaesthetic.

 Among

the more affluent in society it may be performed in a health care facility by qualified health personnel.  WHO is opposed to medicalization of all the types of female genital mutilation.

At what age?

 The

age at which female genital mutilation is performed varies from area to area. It is performed on infants a few days old, female children and adolescents and,

occasionally, on mature women.

For what reasons?

psychosexual reasons: reduction or elimination of the sensitive tissue of the outer genitalia, particularly the clitoris, in order to attenuate sexual desire in the female, maintain chastity and virginity before marriage and fidelity during marriage, and increase male sexual pleasure;

 sociological

reasons: identification with the cultural heritage, initiation of girls into womanhood, social integration and the maintenance of social cohesion;

 religious

reasons: Some Muslim communities, however, practise FGM in the belief that it is demanded by the Islamic faith. The practice, however, predates Islam.

Prevalence and distribution of FGM
 Most

of the girls and women who have undergone genital mutilation live in 28 African countries, although some live in Asia and the Middle East.

 Today,

the number of girls and women who have been undergone female genital mutilation is estimated at between 100 and 140 million. It is estimated that each year, a further 2 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM.

What is a Stem Cell ?

cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive.

 When

a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another anothe type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

Why is it controversial?
 Stem

cell research is controversial because the best source of stem cells is human fetal tissue. Harvesting the stem cells destroys the embryo, which many see as morally problematic.

Embryonic stem cells
 Embryonic

stem cells, as their name suggests, are derived from embryos. Specifically, embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro—in an in vitro fertilization clinic—and then donated for research purposes.

 The

embryos from which human embryonic stem cells are derived are typically four or five days old and are a hollow microscopic ball of cells

Over the course of several days, the cells of the inner cell mass proliferate and begin to crowd the culture dish. When this occurs, they are removed gently and plated into several fresh culture dishes. The process of replating the cells is repeated many times and for many months, and is called subculturing.

After six months or more, the original 30 cells of the inner cell mass yield millions of embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells that have proliferated in cell culture for six or more months without differentiating, are referred to as an embryonic stem cell line.



needle guided by ultrasound is passed through the top wall of the egg donor's vagina, through her uterus, into her ovary, and finally into the fluid-filled follicle.

 The

follicles containing the eggs are vacuumed out and the fluid is then given to the laboratory for preparation and fertilization.


Hyperstimulation Syndrome


with ovulation induction uses fertility drugs to increase the number of follicles in the ovaries Sometimes, too many follicles begin to develop in the ovaries, causing them to become swollen and enlarged this syndrome can cause severe pain and trigger the release of fluid into the abdomen and lungs.

Egg Donor Requirements
 www.ovatherainbow.com  YOU
 1)


Between the ages of 18 and 29  2) A high school graduate  3) In good general health, disease-free, and willing to test accordingly.  4) Mature and responsible  5) Available and committed to the donation process which involves traveling to and from fertility clinics for monitoring and retrieval. You must take numerous injections on a strict schedule as well as blood tests, ultrasounds, and undergo the retrieval procedure.
 *If

you are an experienced egg donor age limits may be extended.

Compensation or Prostitution?

 Suggested

fee for a first time donation is : $3,500-$4,500

Slavery in the Bible
 However, you may purchase male or female

slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.
(Leviticus 25:44-46)

Slavery in 2007

is rooted in the concept of controlling women and their sexuality  Masked under the pretext of religious motivations, rites of passage, ideas of hygiene, enhancement of femininity and aesthetics.  Mothers are directly responsible for arranging the genital mutiliation of their daughters.

Bio-Cellular War
 Sickle

cell anaemia, hepatitis, HIV, cancers  In times of war, men between certain ages can be drafted into combat  Can women’s reproductive material be drafted into scientific research?

Slavery of the future
 "Stripped

of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit." (Freda Adler, President of the American Criminological
Society for the 1994-1995 term)

Our current reality
 

Environmental chaos We are responsible for some of our own diseases We have failed to acknowledge that humanities evolutionary quest has resulted in many interspeciary casualties, ranging from humans to microscopic life forms.

Humanities Arrogance
 Today’s

generation is on a path of self annihilation  Should they be allowed to reach into tomorrow’s generation in the attempts of fixing humanities’ crime against humanity?

What does it mean for women?

are the web weavers of

life Propagators of humanity Yet… women are the most…

 www.dictionary.com  To

take advantage of, betray, or cheat; victimize.

Feminist theory
 Feminist

theory aims to understand the nature of inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexuality.  Themes explored in feminism include discrimination, stereotyping, objectification (especially sexual objectification), oppression, and patriarchy

Social Conflict Theory
 Social

conflict theory argues that individuals and groups (social classes) within society have differing amounts of material and non-material resources (the wealthy vs. the poor) and that the more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power.  society is created from ongoing social conflict between various groups.  theory states that groups within a capitalist society tend to interact in a destructive way, that allows no mutual benefit and little cooperation.

Self Evident
 Both

theories are present in both issues

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