"This will give doctors a new motivation to circumcise [girls] because now they can say the Ministry of Health approves of this, and the Indonesian Council of Ulema [MUI] approves of it," said Jurnalis Uddin, a doctor and lecturer at Yarsi University in Jakarta.
On Friday, Murti said the ministerial instruction, which was issued in June, governed procedures for female circumcision in cases where it is deemed necessary by families.
It did not constitute government support for the practice, she
"The minister wants to protect girls from genital mutilation," she
had found that when medical practitioners performed the procedure, there was a trend toward more extensive cutting of the clitoris.