Calling Out North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky for Lack of FGM Laws
23 States in the U.S. Don’t Protect Women and Girls from the Brutal Practice of Female Genital Mutilation
Washington—In a country built on freedom and rights, just over half the states in the nation have enacted laws to protect women and girls from the brutal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).
In advance of the crucial midterm elections this fall, the national #EndFGMToday initiative is calling out the 23 states one-by-one that have not yet enacted anti-FGM laws. Even though FGM has been a federal crime since 1996, international child advocate Elizabeth Yore, who serves as the head of #EndFGMToday and has worked on many cases of child abuse—which FGM is—says local prosecutors need state laws to crack down on this horrific crime.
Of the 23 states without laws, Yore says North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana and Kentucky must also put these laws on their books to keep girls safe from a lifetime of physical and emotional scars.
“With important midterm elections just two months away, legislators in these states should stand up and say they are committed to protecting women and girls from FGM by sponsoring a bill criminalizing this procedure,” Yore said. “This can and should be a bipartisan issue, as evidenced by the 27 states with laws already in place. While some developments have been positive, 23 states do not have laws protecting females from this ghastly practice—and that is unacceptable. We will be advocating in the new legislative sessions to further protect these girls so they are safe from FGM in all 50 states.”
Yore noted that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 500,000 girls and women are at risk of FGM in the United States. Female genital mutilation is also recognized by both the World Health Organization and the United Nations as a human rights violation perpetrated upon little girls and women. Over 200 million women worldwide have been subjected to this cruel and barbaric practice.
View a state-by-state map of those who do have anti-FGM laws at EndFGMToday.com. Anti-FGM efforts are underway in several additional states that do not yet have laws on the books.
Learn more about FGM on social media at #EndFGMToday, as well as efforts in the U.S. to stop it.