Female genital mutilation is a shockingly common practice and is also—understandably—a major crime. So it’s shocking to discover that the disturbing practice is actually on the rise in the United States, a statistic that correlates with the increase of immigrants coming from countries where the practice is widely accepted.
Perhaps more shocking than the fact that the practice is taking place here is the idea that not everyone wants to condemn the practice through law. In fact, in Main, house lawmakers voted narrowly to create an education and outreach program aimed at stopping “female genital mutilation” in immigrant communities. But lawmakers stopped short of giving prosecutors additional resources to make the practice illegal.
The House reportedly voted 76-71 against creating a new crime of “female genital mutilation”—even though the gruesome procedure has affected at least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries. Instead of banning the practice, House Democrats suggested a version of the law directing the Department of Health and Human Services to create education programs featuring “culturally specific services for communities in the state wherein such practices might be happening.”
Rep. Heather Sirocki told reporters that since introducing the bill, she has heard from numerous people in Maine—including some in the medical field—with personal stories about witnessing female genital mutilation.
What do you think? Does this need to be stopped?