Proposed law would triple penalties for genital mutilation

Source: Daily Tribune

By Aileen Wingblad

U.S.Congressman Dave Trott and U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced new legislation this week that would triple the current maximum penalty for performing female genital mutilation.

The Stopping Abusive Female Exploitation Act would increase the federal penalty for female genital mutilation to 15 years in prison and urge states to implement reporting requirements for suspected genital mutilation.

Under current federal law, female genital mutilation is punishable by five years in prison.

“The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 500,000 females in the United States have undergone or are at risk for genital mutilation and recently this staggering statistic hit home in Southeast Michigan. In April, three physicians were arrested, suspected of performing over 100 female genital mutilations, most recently, out of their practice in Livonia, Michigan,” Trott stated in a release on Thursday, July 20, announcing the proposal. “These doctors, and all those who commit these horrendous crimes against innocent children, must be held accountable for their unconscionable actions. We must protect our girls, and this legislation increasing the federal penalty is critical to eradicating this barbaric practice from our communities.”

Also in the release, Maloney said female genital mutilation is “a disturbing abuse of women and girls.”

“The list of health risks associated with this barbarism is long and serious, including death, childbirth complications and newborn death,” Maloney stated. “By increasing the penalty for this despicable crime and introducing a provision to encourage states implement reporting laws, we hope to make it clear that this behavior will not be tolerated.”