Rates of female genital mutilation have tripled in the U.S. since 1990, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
A report released by the Government Accountability Office on Monday detailed the findings of the CDC’s investigation into female genital mutilation in the U.S. According to the report, as many of 513,000 women have undergone the procedure, which is illegal in the U.S.
Female genital mutilation is a procedure in which women’s sexual organs are damaged or removed in order to prevent the woman from experiencing sexual pleasure. The procedure is usually performed with a razor blade and can result in infertility, incontinence, death from blood loss and other complications.
The practice is common in parts of the Middle East and Africa, and particularly in Somalia, where up to 98 percent of women are mutilated.
“CDC attributes this change primarily to increased immigration from countries where FGM/C is practiced, rather than an increase in the occurrence of FGM/C,” the report states.
The CDC also reported that it is difficult to determine exactly how many women and girls have undergone the procedure because it is underreported in the U.S.
The report concluded that more needs to be done to combat female circumcision in the U.S., including education for immigrants about the dangers of the procedure.