The Ohio Legislature is considering a bill to protect girls and young women in Ohio from the gruesome and dangerous practice known as female genital mutilation (FGM).
Ohio is one of just 23 states that does not prohibit this horrible practice, performed without anesthesia, all in the name of religious or cultural tradition. Fortunately, this bill has already passed the Ohio Senate unanimously. However, there was a minor amendment when SB 214 passed in the House, so it just needs one final vote in the Senate to pass into law.
SB 214 makes FGM against minors in Ohio a felony and provides for a significant fine.
FGM is not a medical procedure. It is a ritual performed only in the context of religious or cultural tradition, usually by someone who isn’t a medical professional and usually without anesthesia.
FGM inflicts serious injury on the victim, who is likely to endure a lifetime of medical complications. In addition to the devastating physical consequences, FGM can result in significant psychological harm.
Ohio has a duty to protect its residents from these dangerous practices, regardless of tradition. This sort of religiously inspired, brutal misogyny has no place in our society.
We just need one final push to ensure that this bill is passed so that girls and young women in Ohio are protected. There are only a few days left in the legislative calendar, so please ask your senator to pass this bill into law today!