Senate approves bills to stop female genital mutilation

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — On Wednesday, The Michigan Senate unanimously approved legislation that would help end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the state.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FGM refers to cutting and other procedures that injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Federal law prohibits anyone in the country from knowingly excising or infibulating the genitals of any girl under 18 years of age.

Senate Bills 337 and 338, sponsored by Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, and Sen. Rick Jones would ban the practice in Michigan. The bills would make the practice a felony crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

SBs 368 and 369, sponsored by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, and Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, would ban the transportation of girls for an FGM procedure. Under the bills, the crime would be a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The bills stem from a recent case in which Michigan-based doctors were arrested and charged for allegedly conspiring to perform FGM on minors, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

SBs 337-338 and 368-369 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senator Rick Jones made on statement on Facebook. “Bills banning Female Genital Mutilation and Transporting the Victim for the Attack have just passed the Senate Unanimously. This will make it a 15 Felony and set an example for the World. Michigan says Never Again!’

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