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Congressman Scott Perry Lauds Enactment of PA State Ban on FGM/C

Harrisburg, July 1, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – Congressman Scott Perry offered the following statement upon the enactment of House Bill 315, criminalizing the barbaric and subjugating practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

“I appreciate the combined efforts of the bill’s sponsor, State Representative Tom Murt, and Pennsylvania House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Kauffman for pushing this critical legislation through the legislative process. Pennsylvania will join the majority of states that have similar provisions. I’m hopeful that the momentum continues to other states until we all agree that FGM/C is intolerable in the United States of America, and that the perpetrators of this heinous act should be held accountable.”

Perry called on the State Senate and Governor Tom Wolf to pass a proposal criminalizing the practice earlier this year.

Passing a state law in Pennsylvania became critical in November 2018, when the 1996 federal statute outlawing FGM/C was struck down by an Eastern District Court Judge in Michigan. The ruling determined that criminal activity and law enforcement is a power reserved for the States rather than the federal government, and as a result, the 1996 federal statute is unconstitutional. This was the first time the statute was used to bring charges against someone in the U.S. for performing Female Genital Mutilation. Dr. Jumana Nagarwala is alleged to have performed the practice on more than 100 girls at a clinic in Livonia, Michigan.

Following Pennsylvania’s enactment of HB 315, 16 States remain with no expressed criminal statute banning FGM/C.
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