Dr. Jumana Nagarwala fired by Henry Ford amid female genital mutilation case

DETROIT – Henry Ford Health System has fired a doctor who is charged with performing female genital mutilation on young girls at a medical clinic in Livonia. 

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, 44, of Northville, is charged with performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls who were 6 to 8 years old at the Burhani Medical Clinic. Nagarwala, the clinic owner Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, and his wife Farida Attar all face charges in the case. All three are expected to head to trial. 

Nagarwala was arrested April 12 and detained April 17. Henry Ford Health System said she was placed on administrative leave April 13. Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit learned Thursday she has been terminated from her position as an emergency department physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. 

MORE: Feds indict 3 people in Metro Detroit female genital mutilation case

Dr. Attar owns Burhani Medical Clinic in Livonia where his wife works as an office manager. A federal criminal complaint says the couple arranged operations at the clinic and assisted Dr. Nagarwala in performing female genital mutilation on the young girls. 

Nagarwala has a pretrial hearing Thursday afternoon in Detroit federal court. 

"According to the complaint, despite her oath to care for her patients, Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims," acting assistant Attorney General Blanco said. "The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse."

The federal complaint claims Fakhruddin Attar made a series of phone calls to a member of the community in Minnesota in October 2016. From Oct. 22, 2016, through Jan. 20, officials said Fakhruddin Attar made more than 50 phone calls to the Minnesota number.

Officials believe that the phone calls were connected to two 7-year-old Minnesota girls who were taken to Nagarwala to undergo the procedure.

Unprecedented charges

This case is unprecedented in the U.S. According to the United States code, "whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

Here are the Congressional Findings

“(1) the practice of female genital mutilation is carried out by members of certain cultural and religious groups within the United States;
“(2) the practice of female genital mutilation often results in the occurrence of physical and psychological health effects that harm the women involved;
“(3) such mutilation infringes upon the guarantees of rights secured by Federal and State law, both statutory and constitutional;
“(4) the unique circumstances surrounding the practice of female genital mutilation place it beyond the ability of any single State or local jurisdiction to control;
“(5) the practice of female genital mutilation can be prohibited without abridging the exercise of any rights guaranteed under the first amendment to the Constitution or under any other law; and
“(6) Congress has the affirmative power under section 8 of article I, the necessary and proper clause, section 5 of the fourteenth Amendment, as well as under the treaty clause, to the Constitution to enact such legislation.”

MORE: Female genital mutilation a serious problem in United States

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.