Maine Sending Strong Nationwide Message with Crucial Vote on Anti-Female Genital Mutilation Bill TODAY in Senate

#EndFGMToday Urges Maine Residents to Contact Lawmakers to Protect Girls and Women from This Barbaric Practice; Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon Against Bringing L.D. 745 Up for Vote

Washington, D.C.—Today, Maine lawmakers will have a chance to protect girls from the horrors of female genital mutilation (FGM) through the crucial vote on L.D. 745, a bill that would make FGM a crime in Maine.

Previously, the Senate passed the bill unanimously, and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Heather Sirocki, has been promised that the Senate will bring up the bill again with amendments. Then the House must also take up the bill, vote and pass it. Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, however, is balking on reviving the bill in the House. Her actions are imperative to protect Maine’s girls and women.

Advocates from the new initiative #EndFGMToday, are encouraging Maine citizens to take action in various ways before the vote on this critical bipartisan issue:

1.  Urge Speaker of the House Sara Gideon to bring L.D. 745 to vote in the House on Aug. 2.

Contact Gideon at (207) 287-1300 or Sara.Gideon@legislature.maine.gov.

2.  Contact Democrat Representatives who are against passing L.D. 745:

Rep. Jared Golden

Rep. Erin Herbig

Rep. Charlotte Warren

Rep. Patricia Hymanson

3.  Contact “turncoats” who once sponsored or supported the bill but have now flipped:

Rep. Barbara Cardone

Rep. Donna Bailey

Rep. Dale Denno

Rep. Jessica Fay

Rep. John Martin  

Rep. Joyce “Jay” McCreight  

Rep. Anne Perry

Rep. Lois Galgay Reckitt

4.  Create awareness about the horrors of FGM by visiting www.EndFGMToday.com and its Maine Facebook page or by sharing this message on social media: “Maine, don’t allow our state to become a safe harbor for female genital mutilators! #EndFGMToday”

“I have worked as an attorney for 30 years,” said Elizabeth Yore, head of End FGM Today, “and know that prosecutors need a law like this to ensure that little girls are protected from this merciless and cruel procedure—and that mutilators are prosecuted. We have heard the specious argument that this law is not needed under the present criminal code. Yet, prosecutors who are charged with protecting the safety of all Maine citizens have stated that they do not feel confident the state can charge someone with committing female genital mutilation without the passage of this bill. Prosecutors should be given the clear guidance they need by making female genital mutilation a state crime. Clear statutes without guesswork are important for state prosecutions.”

Yore added that the United Nations and the World Health Organization have deemed FGM a violation of human rights and have urged the banning of FGM in countries around the world.

“Maine must affirm this human right for girls and women and join the 25 other states across the U.S. that have criminalized FGM,” she said. “Prosecutors need the tools to protect little girls from this brutal barbarism.”

Learn more about the progress of the bill in Maine and how you can help #EndFGMToday at www.EndFGMToday.com and on social media.

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