THE CIRCUMCISION NEWS LIBRARY
SECOND EGYPTIAN GIRL, 14, DIES DURING CIRCUMCISION SURGERY
by the Associated Press CAIRO, Egypt - A 14-year-old girl bled to death during a female circumcision operation Saturday, the second to die in two months. Police said they were looking for the doctor who fled after performing the surgery on Amina Abdel-Hamid Abu-Elah in the village of Ashfin, just north of Cairo. Despite the dangers to health, as estimated 70 percent to 90 percent of girls in Egypt are circumcised before puberty. The procedure - also known as genital mutilation - can involve cutting away the tip of the clitoris or removing all the exterior genitals. Many Egyptians think the operation curbs a girl's sexual appetite or enhances cleanliness. Others believe it is ordained by Islam, although Muslim scholars are at odds over this. Some Egyptian Christians follow this practice, too. There is no law what specifically outlaws female circumcision in Egypt, but the government has taken steps to try to stop it. Barbers and midwives, who are the traditional practitioners, face prosecution if caught on charges of performing surgery without a medical license. Last month, Health Minister Ismail Sallam, under pressure from women's and human rights groups, banned all registered doctors, nurses and health care workers from performing circumcisions. Earlier, the government had banned the procedure from state-run hospitals, and last month Sallam expanded the procedure to include private clinics. Sallam said violators faced "severe punishment," but did not specify what the penalties would be. Last month, an 11-year-old girl bled to death after a botched circumcision performed by a barber.