OPINION: Female Genital Mutilation A Growing Crime In The US

Shuttertsock By Evgeny Atamanenko

Elizabeth Yore International child advocate attorney
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United States District Judge Bernard Friedman declared last week that a federal female genital mutilation (FGM) law is unconstitutional. In the process, she dismissed key charges against two Michigan doctors and six others accused of subjecting at least nine minor girls to the genital excising procedure in the nation’s first FGM case.

This decision marks a serious setback for the rights and protection of our most innocent and vulnerable victims. America now joins the ranks of Third World countries like Chad and Sudan, which do not call FGM a crime.

The judge’s ruling signals a dangerous development that will put more little girls at immediate risk for this horrific practice that has been recently imported to America’s shores by migrants from FGM-practicing Muslim countries such as Somalia and Egypt.

Before the judge’s ruling, FGM had been a federal crime in the United States since 1996. Additionally, 27 states have also committed to protecting girls by enacting their own laws against the terrible procedure that leaves physical and emotional scars for a lifetime.

Now, the laws in those 27 states serve as the only statutes to protect girls, since federal protections are now moot for the time being.

Yet tragically, girls in 23 states across the country remain at risk because FGM is a growing criminal activity in the United States and the 23 states that have yet to enact their own anti-FGM laws need to do so quickly — hopefully in 2019.

Otherwise, these remaining states are now safe harbors for mutilators. This judicial ruling will embolden others to engage in this horrific form of abuse of women and girls in America.

Every state should stand with more than 513,000 women and girls across America who the Centers for Disease Control estimates are at risk for FGM by making it a crime and a reportable child abuse offense. FGM perpetrators operate in the shadows inflicting children of unimaginable abuse, maiming them for life and robbing them of future sexual pleasure.

Like human trafficking, FGM conducts its barbaric activity in secret among covert underground networks, enforcing silence among its victims.

A federal law criminalizing FGM must be re-enacted forthwith by Congress, correcting the drafting flaws cited in the Court’s opinion. If the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement have any validity, they should rise up and demand that FGM is a vile and anti-female practice that should be criminalized on a federal and statewide level.

Thus far, an eerie and troubling silence emanates from the feminists with their pink hats over an issue described by the U.N. as a gross violation of women’s and children’s human rights, including their rights to health, to be free from violence, to life and physical integrity, to non-discrimination, and to be free from cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Over 200 million women worldwide have been subjected to this cruel and barbaric practice.

Female genital mutilation is a barbaric form of child abuse, whose lasting effects are more accurately described as female castration.

Elizabeth Yore is an international child rights attorney who heads up EndFGMToday, a national initiative.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.