And I’m not talking about abortion. William Saletan defends western doctors who do “hymen reconstructions” to “revirginize” women (overwhelmingly, and in the context of this article, Muslim women) so they don’t face the (sometimes fatal) consequences of not being virgins on their wedding nights. I have very mixed feelings about this.
Certainly, in any individual case, the compassionate and appropriate response may well be to do the operation. Even in situations where women who aren’t virgins (or, in fact, may well be virgins but not have sufficient evidence of this) aren’t in fear for their physical safety, humiliation and ostracism aren’t fun. And if we allow consenting adult women to pay to have saline implanted in their chests or synthetic substances injected into their lips, it’s hard to make a case that hymen reconstruction shouldn’t be done. But every doctor who plays along with this sick worldview helps this sort of treatment of women to limp along for another day.