Female Genital Mutilation Ban One Step Closer to Becoming Law

FRANKFORT, Ky- A ban on a grotesque practice is one step closer to being law.

The House Judiciary Committee passed a ban on female genital mutilation Wednesday.

Supporters of the measure say while it’s not talked about this practice happens here.

“There are almost 2,000 women and girls who are at risk of or who have undergone female genital mutilation right here in Kentucky,” said Amanda Parker, Senior Director of the AHA Foundation. “This is something that is very much underground but it absolutely needs to be addressed it is a form of child abuse, it s human rights abuse and its time we do something about here in Kentucky”

Senate Bill 72 sponsored by Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, would make the practice on minor a Class B felony. It would also ban trafficking of a girl across state lines to have the procedure done, while revoking the license of any medical provider found performing the procedure. The legislation also provides for education of the procedure which survivors say is an important part.

Survivors of FGM would be able to take civil action for up to ten years after their 18th birthday.

The World Health Organization breaks FGM down into four types: type 1 involves removing the skin covering the clitoris to the external clitoris, type 2 involves removing the skin covering the clitoris as well as the skin covering inner and outer labia, type 3 is the process described above where all external tissue is removed and sewn shut, finally type four is described as sort of a “catch-all” for harmful activity to female genitalia.

FGM is internationally considered a human rights violation and the complications with it last longer than the immediate physical complications of pain, shock, and sepsis.

Long term women will face bladder issues, infertility, and complications during childbirth even death of newborns.

Emotionally, women can suffer lifelong effects such as PTSD, loss of trust and depression among other things.

Kentucky is 1 of 15 states that do not have a ban on the practice.

The bill now heads to the full House floor for a vote.