The vote ironically came during the “Week of the Young Child.”
The bill would have held the mutilator, consenting parents and/or guardians and the transporters accountable for their part in perpetrating the FGM and exacted penalties from each of these parties.
Instead of passing the bill, all the House Democrats save for one, voted against the bill amid ad hominem cries against one of the bill’s sponsors, Republican legislator Rep. Heather Sirocki. Specifically, the Southern Poverty Law Center published emails between Sirocki and a Maine member of ACT for America, which the law center bogusly claims is “the largest anti-Muslim hate group in the United States.”
During testimony regarding the bill, Leftist activists questioned why a white woman was fighting so hard to defend immigrant girls and accused the sponsors of the bill of being racists, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. Listen to the accusations by clicking here
Legislators also heard heart breaking testimony from an FGM survivor, yet they were not moved. Listen below:
But the story doesn’t end here. Last week, House Democrats passed a toothless bill that appears to ban FGM but in fact does not. That bill removed all penalties for those involved with the crime. In addition, the word “mutilation” was removed from the definition of the barbaric practice. (House Republicans rightly rejected that bill.)
The bill was then sent back to the Senate, which re-inserted the penalties for all those connected to the crime. The bill passed the Senate 30-5, with the dissenters hailing from Far-Left parties.
Why This Legislation is Needed
One may wonder why state legislation criminalizing FGM is needed since FGM has been illegal in the U.S. on a federal level since 1996. This reason is that, until a recent case in Michigan, federal legislation has been insufficient to stopping FGM since prosecutors usually defer to state law when charging a crime.
In practical terms, what this has meant is that in states that do not have their own laws criminalizing the practice, perpetrators are usually charged with child abuse, assault or the like, which results in lesser sentences.
In fact, the on-going case in Michigan is the very first instance of a federal FGM prosecution since the federal legislation was passed 22 years ago.
“That’s one reason that state legislation is important,” said Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation Senior Director Amanda Parker in an interview with Mic. “It gives prosecutors the tools that they need to really fight this.”
FGM is a barbaric practice commonly found in (but not limited to) Muslim countries across the world that involves either cutting off part of or the entire clitoris, removing the labia, narrowing the vaginal opening and/or executing other painful alterations to a woman’s genitals for no medical purpose, according to the World Health Organization.
It involves intense pain, shock, sometimes even death. Survivors are plagued with a lifetime of emotional trauma as well as severe physical effects ranging from decreased or lack of sexual response to painful intercourse and childbirth, at best.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 513,000 girls are at risk of FGM in the United States.
There are literally no words to describe the audacity of these Maine lawmakers who have, by their actions, condemned innumerable women and girls to a lifetime of avoidable pain and suffering. Their suggestion that it is “racist” for a white woman to advocate for the basic human rights of a non-white woman is not only an outrageous proposition but falls squarely in the very definition of racism.
What is the future for a country that has devolved into making the sexual mutilation of women and girls into a partisan issue?