EndFGMToday Calls on Connecticut to Finalize Female Genital Mutilation Legislation
State Laws Are Even More Crucial After Federal Ban Was Struck Down
Washington, D.C.—The national EndFGMToday campaign is urging Connecticut lawmakers to move ahead with legislation that would outlaw the brutal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the state.
In early February, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Health Committee heard testimony about House Bill 5142, introduced by Rep. Kurt Vail, that would ban the procedure, according to the Hartford Courant.
“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. Connecticut has already callously threw away one opportunity to outlaw FGM in their state. It is imperative that this time, legislators take the bill to the finish line.”
Last year, reported the Associated Press, legislation was proposed in Connecticut to make the practice a class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. That bill, however, didn’t move beyond a committee vote.
On March 22, the state House Public Health Committee voted to hold the bill until the next meeting, which is planned for April 1 at 10:30 a.m.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, Connecticut ranks 27th in the country, with 2,658 women and girls at risk for FGM, Yore noted. Furthermore, the PRB found that Worchester, Massachusetts-Connecticut is also a top metropolitan area in the nation for FGM risk.
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.
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.