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Atheists: Ban Female Genital Mutilation in Massachusetts

Boston, MA—Today, American Atheists, on behalf of its more than 1,000 constituents in MA, wrote in support of H3332/S834. This comprehensive bill would protect women and girls in Massachusetts from the harmful practices known as female genital mutilation (FGM).

FGM consists in ritually cutting or altering the female genitalia for non-medical purposes. Religious communities predominately force this unethical pseudo-treatment upon young females—with non-licensed practitioners performing the work.

Despite the religious significance of this tradition, it has no medical necessity or benefit. Instead, FGM frequently results in serious injury and medical complications to the victim. Beyond the devastating physical consequences, FGM can result in significant psychological harm.

Massachusetts is one of just 15 states that does not prohibit FGM. In MA alone, nearly 14,221 women and girls are at risk for FGM.

“Massachusetts has a duty to protect its residents from these dangerous practices regardless of tradition. This sort of religiously inspired and brutal misogyny has no place in our
society,” wrote Alison Gill, American Atheists’ Vice President for Legal and Policy, who submitted the testimony.

Read the full testimony here:

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