UPDATE: Genital mutilation bills pass Michigan Senate committee

UPDATE (4:43pm) – A Michigan Senate committee has approved a bill that would ban the practice of female genital mutilation in Michigan.

“This evil, horrific act against little girls is demonic and a violation of human rights,” said sponsor State Sen. Rick Jones, a Republican from Grand Ledge. “It is an extreme form of discrimination against girls and women,” he said in a release.

The practice already violates federal law, but Michigan lawmakers moved for a Michigan-specific law after a recent arrest in the Detroit area.

Now that they have been passed by the Judiciary Committee, Senate Bills 337-338 now move to the to the full Senate for consideration.

 

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Legislation is moving quickly at the state Capitol to make it a felony offense for any doctor who preforms genital mutilation on young girls.

The religious practice was recently discovered here in Michigan and efforts have begun to stop what one senator calls a barbaric practice.

“It’s barbaric and it really harms our women and girls,” said Sen. Margaret O’Brien.

Sen. Rick Jones agreed, “this is a horrible evil practice.”

The federal government recently made several arrests in the Detroit area at a doctors clinic where this alleged genital mutilation took place on young girls.

“This is incredible because there is no benefit for girls,” insists Sen. O’Brien. “And, in fact, it increases the chances of having increased injuries causing long term health problems and in child birth it increases the chances of death.”

While there is a federal ban on this practice. it is not against the law in Michigan.

Senator O’Brien wants a 15-year felony instead of the five years at the federal level.

The Senate Judiciary chairman took testimony on the bill and rejects criticism that 15 years is too severe.

“Fifteen years for a lifetime of misery for these girls and women,” insists Jones. “Never again.”

The ban is expected to pass without opposition.

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