The North Carolina Legislature is considering a bill (SB 9) to protect girls and young women in North Carolina from the gruesome and dangerous religious practice known as female genital mutilation (FGM).
North Carolina is one of just 19 states that does not prohibit this horrible practice.
Fortunately, this bill already passed the North Carolina Senate unanimously, and it is currently being considered by the North Carolina Committee on Health.
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 often without anesthesia.
SB 9 makes FGM against minors in North Carolina a felony and specifies that custom and ritual are not valid defenses.
FGM inflicts serious injury onto the victim, who is likely to endure a lifetime of serious medical complications.
In addition to the devastating physical consequences, FGM can result in significant psychological harm. North Carolina 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.
This bill has come so far—we just need to push the House to take up this bill and ensure that it is passed so that girls and young women in North Carolina are protected from this dangerous practices.