18 States Still Don’t Outlaw FGM

***News Release***

 

18 States Still Don’t Outlaw FGM

This year alone, five more states have enacted laws to criminalize the horrific and cruel practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). Thus far in 2019, Ohio, Utah, Arkansas, Idaho and South Carolina have passed laws to protect women and girls in their states from this heinous act.

But the fact that 18 states don’t have anti-FGM laws on their books is a travesty, says the national EndFGMToday campaign.

“The mutilation of little girls’ genitals defies all standards of humanity and cries out as a hideous violation of human rights, according to the United Nations and World Health Organization,” said internationally renowned attorney and child welfare advocate Elizabeth Yore, who heads EndFGMToday. “The CDC estimates that 513,000 girls are at risk of female genital mutilation in the United States.”

Specifically, EndFGMToday is calling on North Carolina, where lawmakers have until June 30 to cross the finish line on Senate Bill 9 during this legislative session, as well as Pennsylvania, where House Bill 315 is in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The movement has also called out Alabama and Mississippi as the only two states in the Deep South that have not taken action to protect women and girls from FGM.

EndFGMToday has asserted many times that state laws criminalizing FGM are all the more crucial now, after a Michigan judge ruled that the federal FGM law was unconstitutional. In the process, serious charges against three alleged FGM perpetrators awaiting trial in Detroit were dismissed. View a state-by-state map of those that do have anti-FGM laws.