|Posted:||January 13, 2017 11:25 AM|
|From:||Representative Thomas P. Murt and Rep. Donna Bullock|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Establishing the Offense of Female Mutilation (Prior HB 135)|
|I am reintroducing legislation to establish the offense of Female Mutilation. The practice involves cutting of the female genitalia and is often a coming-of-age ritual in various parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 140 million women and children worldwide have been affected by female genital cutting or female mutilation. However, according to the African Women’s Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, it is estimated that 228,000 women in the United States have been cut because they come from an ethnic community.
The United States Department of State considers female mutilation not only a public health concern, but a human rights issue, as the practice violates the right to a woman’s bodily integrity. I agree with the Department of State.
Women who are immigrants are at continued risk of the practice, even though they live in the United States, as religious and cultural beliefs follow the women to this country. According to CNN, the practice has moved underground in the United States. Further, states with the highest number of women who have been victimized by such cutting or are at risk include California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
My legislation prohibits the practice and grades the offense as a felony of the first degree.
Previous Cosponsors: BAKER, BISHOP, CALTAGIRONE, COHEN, D. COSTA, M. DALEY, GINGRICH, JAMES, MILLARD, O'BRIEN, C. PARKER, PICKETT, SANTARSIERO, SCHLOSSBERG, WATSON, GILLEN, FRANKEL, BENNINGHOFF, DONATUCCI, MACKENZIE, COX, TOOHIL, HAHN, EVERETT, McGINNIS, REESE, TOEPEL, KNOWLES, BOBACK, R. BROWN, GROVE, M. QUINN, RAPP, BRADFORD, SAYLOR, SABATINA, GALLOWAY, W. KELLER, SCHLEGEL CULVER, PHILLIPS-HILL, DAVIS, BULLOCK, MCCLINTON, KRIEGER, DUSH, D. PARKER, KAUFER and VITALI
Introduced as HB413