Many Americans are unaware that the barbaric practice known as female genital mutilation (FGM) occurs not just in other countries, but right here in the United States as well. Fortunately, the Maine Senate could soon vote on a bill that would make female genital mutilation a crime in that state.
House Rep. Heather Sirocki, the sponsor of L.D. 745, reports that that Senate could vote on the bill on Veto Day, which could happen as early as July 14. If passed, Maine would join 24 other states that already have similar statutes on their books.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half a million girls and women in America have already been subjected to such mutilation—or are at risk of having it inflicted upon them. Reportedly, some of them live in the state of Maine.
“Advocates for girls and women here in the U.S. are calling for Maine lawmakers to #EndFGMToday and urging legislators to pass L.D. 745,” said Elizabeth Yore, head of a new initiative, End FGM Today. “Female genital mutilation is child abuse and an abomination for all those afflicted by it. Some seek to defend the mutilating of little girls by claiming that this cruel disfiguring must be allowed in America as a form of ‘religious practice.’ Legislators in Maine have an opportunity to establish unmistakably that no little girl living in their state can be maimed for any reason.”
Yore added that three individuals in Michigan were recently arrested for allegedly mutilating two 7-year-old Somali immigrant girls. These suspects are reportedly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to those yet to be identified, charged and prosecuted.
“It is simply intolerable that half the states in this nation, including Maine, still do not have laws protecting girls and women from this ghastly, involuntary disfiguring,” Yore added.
Learn more at www.EndFGM.Today and on social media at #EndFGMToday.