Caroline McKee – July 05, 2017
Eight women in Maine have been treated for complications related to female genital mutilation (FGM), including two minors, according to 2016 MaineCare records.
Local FGM legislation has been introduced in states across the country, and in Maine it was presented by State Representative Heather Sirocki. Her bill would make it a Class B crime to perform FGM on a female under 18 years of age for non-medical purposes or for a parent, guardian, or caretaker to allow FGM to be done on a girl in their custody.
State Rep. Sirocki said, “We know that FGM has been treated here in the state of Maine because I have the MaineCare billing codes and information to prove it.”
The bill, LD745 “An Act to Prohibit Female Genital Mutilation,” had six amendments submitted from the state House and Senate, but ultimately failed in a 74-73 vote on June 23.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Maine said FGM legislation is not worth expanding the criminal code. They released a statement saying, “This bill is nothing more than an attempt to single out behavior that is commonly attributed to certain religious and ethnic communities as different from other forms of abuse.”