Legislation to help end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Michigan was recently passed by the legislature and presented to the governor.
Female genital mutilation is a horrific act of barbarism inflicted on young girls throughout the world and even here in Michigan. The recent case in Southeast Michigan, where little girls as young as 6 years old were mutilated by local doctors, was sickening and evil. It was a violation of human rights that cannot — and will not — be tolerated.
Senate Bills 337 and 338, sponsored by Sen. Margaret O’Brien and Sen. Rick Jones, would ban the practice of FGM in Michigan. The bills would make the practice a felony crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
SBs 368 and 369, which I sponsored along with Sen. Judy Emmons , would prohibit someone from transporting a girl to have this procedure carried out. Under the bills, the crime would be a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
This barbaric procedure has no accepted health benefits and is only performed to exercise control over young women. We need to give law enforcement and prosecutors every available tool to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The bills stem from a recent case in which Michigan-based doctors were arrested and charged for allegedly conspiring to perform FGM on minors.
FGM refers to cutting and other procedures that injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Federal law prohibits anyone in the country from knowingly excising or infibulating the genitals of any girl under 18 years of age.