ST. PAUL, MN -- Representative Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) has introduced legislation (House File 2621) that would hold Minnesota parents liable for the practice of female genital mutilation ("FGM"). The bill will be heard in the Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee on Wednesday.
"Minnesotans were shocked when they heard FGM had come to our state and I was appalled to learn that parents who abuse their girls in this life-threatening way are not held responsible and charged with a crime,” Franson continued. “We need to expedite the legislative process to get this bill heard, so we can begin to work to protect Minnesota girls from this barbaric practice.”
While Minnesota law makes it illegal for a doctor to perform FGM, current law says nothing on parents subjecting their girls to this practice. Franson’s bill would identify Female Genital Mutilation as child abuse.
Recently, this issue was highlighted by the arrest of two Michigan doctors after two Minnesota families traveled to Michigan to have the procedure done on their 7-year-old daughters.
"Two little girls have already been subjected to mutilation of their most private parts,” Franson continued. “Two is too many. Unfortunately, there are likely other victims that we don't know about.”
“Minnesota needs to send a strong message that we won't stay silent and that the punishment will be harsh, including the potential loss of parental custody of these innocent victims,” Franson said.
Franson has called on both political parties to support this change to Minnesota law.
"Commonsense would indicate that there should be no dissenting opinions on this bill,” Franson said.