Anti-FGM Activist: Maine Democrats Offering ‘Safe Harbor’ for Mutilators
State lawmakers excoriated for shooting down measure to criminalize 'barbaric and brutal procedure'
Democrats in the Maine legislature have once again killed an effort to ban the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation, known in abbreviated form as FGM.
Last week, Maine Democrats acting under pressure from liberal activists voted against reviving L.D. 745. — a bill that would have criminalized FGM. They struck down a similar measure in June.
“Shockingly, female Democratic legislative leadership consistently voted against this FGM crime bill,” said Elizabeth Yore, head of End FGM Today, in a statement released on Tuesday. “So much for female empowerment and child protection in the Pine Tree State. Thus, Maine assumes the dubious distinction of becoming the safe-harbor state for mutilators.”
“According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half a million women and girls are at risk for genital mutilation in the U.S.,” Yore continued. “Yet Maine Democratic women leaders refused to listen to the cries and pleas of these girls, but would rather participate in cheap political stunts than fight for the human rights of our youngest victims.”
That Democrats, who consistently claim to be the ultimate defenders of women, would strike down an attempt to criminalize such a violent, misogynistic practice speaks volumes, Yore explained in an interview with LifeZette.
“The Democratic House lawmakers’ decision shocked us and the people of Maine,” she told LifeZette. “These are liberal women legislators who should know better and who should be concerned about what the U.N. calls a human-rights violation.”
Yore said that Democrats are beholden to extreme multiculturalism that would sacrifice women and girls’ physical well-being — indeed possibly their very lives.
“It seems to be that the liberal legislators worship at the altar of diversity and cultural tolerance,” she said. “They also march to the orders of the ACLU, which vigorously opposed this bill.”
“The reasons cited for voting against the FGM bill are simply spurious, i.e., that it will cause overcrowding in the jails and that there are laws already on the books that address child abuse,” Yore continued. “However, the Maine Prosecutors Association spoke out boldly for the urgent need to pass this bill and criminalize FGM.”
She suggested that the Democrats’ move could cost them at the ballot box.
“We are hearing from Maine citizens who are up in arms about the voting down of the FGM bill,” Yore said. “Many of these citizens are hard-core Democrats who are ‘mad as hell.’ FGM transcends party lines, and despite the vote loss, there is tremendous support to criminalize FGM among the citizens of Maine.”
That Muslim women and girls in Maine and elsewhere in the United States are at risk of being subjected to FGM is undeniable.
“The federal government recognizes that Maine is in the top tier of states at risk for female genital mutilation,” she said. “This data is drawn from one of the highest per capita of Somali refugees residing in Maine.”
“UNICEF found that 97 percent of Somali girls are subjected to FGM,” Yore continued. “The CDC reports that over 500,000 girls are at risk of FGM in the United States.” But the real numbers could be far higher, according to End FGM Today.
“There is a very covert human trafficking network that secretly transports unsuspecting little girls to mutilators across state lines and overseas,” she said. “I believe that the numbers are woefully underreported based on the preliminary reports coming out of Michigan.”
In April, Detroit-area doctors Jumana Nagarwala and Fakhruddin Attar, were arrested on suspicion of performing FGM. In June, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward revealed in court that as many as 100 girls may have been subjected to the practice by Nagarwala and Attar over a 12-year period. In July, it was reported that the federal probe of the conspiracy has been expanded to cover Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.
Despite the setback, Yore says the fight to criminalize FGM in Maine and across the U.S. is far from over.
"We have only begun to fight for this bill," she said, "which is needed to protect little girls in Maine from being subjected to this barbaric and brutal procedure."
"We will be the voice of the voiceless and powerless little girls who are subjected to this brutality, which causes a lifetime of physical and emotional trauma and complications," Yore continued.
"The women who voted against reviving the bill cannot call themselves feminists if they don't afford females protection of the law from the ultimate form of physical and emotional subjugation — female genital mutilation."
(photo credit, homepage image: David Wilson; photo credit, article image: AlexiusHoratius)