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Meanwhile, midwives are regularly delivering the babies of women who have had FGM.
Regularly, such women have to be asked if they would like their vaginal stitches to be cut during labour or prior to labour. Ninety-nine per cent is the figure given and female children who migrate to this country with their families have all, almost certainly, been ‘cut’. When you look at one of them, serving you in a shop or a restaurant perhaps, treating you in a hospital or looking after your mother in a care home, remember what has been done to her to preserve her virginity.
At one point in the operation, my friend said, "Howie, I'm going to join these bones now.
As I do, I'll keep talking, and you watch this guy's face." The moment he connected those tiny bones, the patient's eyes opened wide.
It can assimilate and integrate and see the implications of what God reveals.
But in our night drive into understanding, revelation is the headlights and reason the wheels; revelation helps us see the way that reason must follow.
I have talked to women living in London, Birmingham and Bradford, all of whom have endured FGM as children. It has left its mark not only on their bodies but on their minds and their memory.
You could say that these girls, some of them born here, have been effectively returned to the 19th Century.
In some cases British girls who have escaped the practice when they were children, have been forced by their future husbands and family members to undergo FGM on marriage.
Until recently, no records were kept of the numbers of women who presented at a hospital with evidence that FGM had been carried out on her genitalia.
On the other hand, you may be one of those now rare people who take the moral stance that things were better in, say, 1880 when women retained their virginity until marriage.
You may say that we shouldn’t try to change a cultural practice or tradition.
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This was on the mummified body of a young Egyptian woman who died in 300BC.