The Time is Now to Protect Girls from FGM!
Lawmakers Could Vote Thursday on Criminalizing Female Genital Mutilation in Maine; Eyes of the Nation Are on the State and Urgency for Protection Intensifies #EndFGMToday
Washington, D.C.—Time is running out for Maine lawmakers to protect girls and women from the horrors of female genital mutilation (FGM). The Maine Senate could vote on L.D. 745—a bill to make the barbaric practice of FGM a crime in Maine—this Thursday, July 20.
Maine legislators have a choice as the hour for a possible vote approaches: stand up for those in Maine at risk of FGM or remain indifferent to their plight, and perhaps thereby enable it. Citizens of Maine can help determine which of these alternatives prevails by contacting their legislators and asking them to pass L.D. 745 and protect girls and women from this abusive practice.
Find the contact information for Maine legislators from the Senate and the House here.
“Will Maine join a growing list of states that are criminalizing this barbaric child sexual assault of female genital mutilation or will Maine legislators submit to the ludicrous and callous demands of the American Civil Liberties Union, which is opposing this bill and lobbying heavily against making FGM a state crime?” asks Elizabeth Yore, head of the new initiative, End FGM Today. “The little girls of Maine are watching and waiting for justice for criminal and merciless mutilators.”
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, which has been identified by the federal government as one of eight high-risk states for FGM. Previously, the Maine Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve a ban on female genital mutilation, but the Maine House narrowly rejected a similar bill.
“Surely, the will of Maine citizens is to ensure that mutilators are prosecuted and that FGM will not be tolerated in their state,” Yore added. “Will lawmakers listen to their constituents? Or will they bow down to the edict of the ACLU? If elected officials don’t stand up for little girls, the state of Maine may become a safe harbor for female genital mutilators. Is this the Maine way?”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed a bill into law that makes FGM a felony in that state, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine. The Michigan law stems from a female genital mutilation case in that state where four individuals, including two doctors and a physician’s wife, are facing federal charges for their alleged roles in the mutilation of two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota, the Detroit Free Press reported.
With the signing of the law, Michigan joins 24 other states that have passed anti-female genital mutilation laws over the past two decades. Yore and other advocates urge Maine to join these states and vote “yes” on L.D. 745 this week.
Learn more at www.EndFGMToday.com and on social media at #EndFGMToday about FGM and efforts underway in the U.S. to stop it.