EndFGMToday Applauds Ohio for Passing Law to Criminalize Female Genital Mutilation
Ohio Poised to Become 28th State to Outlaw FGM; Bill Now Heading to Gov. John Kasich’s Desk and EndFGMToday Urges Swift Signature
Washington, D.C.—The national EndFGMToday campaign is applauding Ohio lawmakers for their bipartisan effort to protect women and girls from the horrific and barbaric procedure of female genital mutilation (FGM).
The Ohio House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill to outlaw FGM in the state last week. The bill, SB214, had passed the Ohio Senate unanimously with bipartisan support on Dec. 5 and was sponsored by Sens. Louis Terhar and Peggy Lehner. Twenty-three other Ohio senators co-sponsored the effort, and 49 members of the House also signed on to the bill.
“All of us involved with the #EndFGMToday movement are thankful that Ohio lawmakers have seen the importance of outlawing FGM in their state,” said internationally renowned attorney and child welfare advocate Elizabeth Yore, who heads EndFGMToday. “SB214 appears to be a ‘gold standard’ bill in that it not only outlaws the procedure, but also prohibits trafficking for the purpose of having FGM performed and provides for severe sanctions for any doctor who performs the procedure. This strong bill will also trigger an automatic review by the State Medical Board of Ohio of doctors who perform the procedure.”
The bill now heads to the desk of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and EndFGMToday urges his signature as soon as possible.
Twenty-seven other states across the nation have instituted their own laws that criminalize the barbaric procedure of FGM, which is performed on girls as young as 7 years old and leaves physical and emotional scars for a lifetime.
State laws criminalizing FGM are especially important after a district judge in Michigan ruled that the federal FGM law was unconstitutional, in the process dismissing charges against three alleged FGM perpetrators awaiting trial in Detroit.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 500,000 women and girls are at risk for FGM in the U.S. Yore also noted that female genital mutilation is 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 practice.