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New Legislation, Congressional Action Needed On FGM To Protect Women, Girls

USA TODAY: With female genital mutilation ban gone, we need new legislation to protect at-risk girls
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations

“…Last month, during a trial of a Michigan doctor accused of performing [female genital mutilation (FGM)] on nine minor girls, [Federal Judge Bernard Friedman] ruled that the [federal] law banning FGM is unconstitutional. Now, Congress and the states must act immediately to re-enact FGM protections. … The Trump administration should appeal this decision immediately. This law has protected girls from FGM for 22 years. To accept this ruling without contention would be a dereliction of our duty to protect our young girls from this abuse. Without a federal ban in place, FGM is now legal in 23 states. Unless these states act swiftly to ban the practice, more of America’s young girls remain at risk. … For my part, I intend to introduce legislation early next year to reinstitute a federal ban on this practice. The message should be clear to the women and girls of America — they are protected from this barbaric practice” (12/4).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.