FGM Criminal Legislation Sails Through New Hampshire House of Representatives
#EndFGMToday Praises Bi-Partisan Effort to Protect Girls and Women from Female Genital Mutilation; Senate Must Follow Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The national #EndFGMToday initiative is saluting the New Hampshire State House of Representatives for overwhelmingly passing landmark legislation criminalizing female genital mutilation in the state. House Bill 1739 states that a person is guilty of a Class A felony if he or she performs female genital mutilation on a female minor. The law would also criminalize a parent or guardian who allows FGM to be performed on a female minor.
The FGM criminal bill unanimously passed the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and was passed by the entire State House of Representatives in a consent vote yesterday.
#EndFGMToday is also recognizing the outstanding leadership of Rep. Victoria Sullivan, who, with the support of other sponsors, led this important legislation to a successful resolution. This FGM legislation will now move on to the New Hampshire Senate for committee review and a full Senate vote.
Elizabeth Yore, international child advocate and head of #EndFGMToday, says the vote was an important one for the protection of New Hampshire’s girls, especially as awareness about FGM grows nationwide.
“We congratulate the New Hampshire House and applaud the representatives for standing up for girls and women in the state,” Yore said. “Continued bipartisan support has characterized FGM legislation in other states, and a recent unanimous bipartisan vote in the U.S. House increased the criminal penalties for FGM from five to 15 years.”
Yore added 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 and barbaric practice. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 513,000 girls and women are at risk of FGM in the United States. Twenty-six states and the federal government have criminalized FGM. If New Hampshire votes to criminalize this brutal procedure, it will be the 27th state to do so.
Learn more about FGM on social media at #EndFGMToday, as well as efforts in the U.S. to stop it.