Bipartisan bill in Congress encourages states to improve FGM reporting

The House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 3317, Stopping Abusive Female Exploitation (SAFE) Act; legislation introduced by Congress Members Dave Trott (R-MI) and Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) to increase the federal penalty for female genital mutilation from 5 years to 15 years in prison and to encourage states to improve reporting requirements for suspected female genital mutilation. Following the bill’s passage, Rep. Maloney released the following statement:

“Female genital mutilation is a heinous, abusive practice that causes immense physical and emotional pain and damage to young girls that lasts a lifetime. While this practice is illegal in the U.S. and we condemn it around the world, we need to do more to stop this practice here at home. The Centers for Disease Control estimated in 2012 that 500,000 females in the U.S. have been subjected to or are at risk of female genital mutilation. That number is rising. It is up to us to bring that number to zero. This bill creates a harsher and more appropriate penalty, increasing the current sentence of 5 years to 15 years imprisonment. Stricter penalties for performing the procedure are critical to eradicate this horrific abuse. I am proud to have worked with Rep. Trott on this bill and thank him for his leadership on this issue that threatens women and girls in the U.S. and around the world. Today’s unanimous vote in favor of this measure sends a clear message that the United States House of Representatives has zero tolerance for this outrageous abuse of women and girls.”

Congress Member Maloney spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor, declaring:

“The Centers for Disease Control estimates more than 500,000 females in the United States have undergone or are at risk of female genital mutilation. In stark contrast to other developed countries, the 5-year penalty for perpetrators of female genital mutilation in the U.S. is significantly shorter. For example, the penalty in the United Kingdom is up to 14 years imprisonment and in France up to 20 years imprisonment.”

Originally posted on Queens Gazette:

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