A heinous act deserves a law

Recently Michigan became the 26th state to ban female genital mutilation.

It has been a crime under federal law since 1966, punishable by up to five years in prison. Michigan’s law imposes harsher penalties than the federal law.

The Michigan legislation was preceded by the news that Michigan doctors had been charged federally for performing this procedure on 7-year-old girls. The probe may widen to other states.

U.S. Reps. Dave Trott, R-Mich., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., introduced the Stopping Abusive Female Exploitation Act, which would increase the federal penalty to 15 years in prison and encourage state reporting.

The World Health Organization condemned female genital mutilation as a human rights violation.

Unless charged under the federal statute, this is not a crime in Nebraska. It is a shame that Nebraska does not have legislation on this, especially since Nebraska leads the nation in resettling the most refugees per capita.

I urge our Legislature to pass legislation to protect the young girls who will be arriving in the future or who are already in our state. The Michigan legislation is a great starting point in drafting legislation for our state.

Originally posted on Omaha World-Herald:


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