ST. PAUL, MN -- House File 2621, authored by Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), that would hold Minnesota parents/guardians liable for the practice of female genital mutilation ("FGM") passed the Minnesota House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote of 124-4 on Monday.
“I was shocked to learn that parents who subject their girls to such a dangerous and life-threatening procedure are not held liable under state law,” said Franson. “FGM is a human rights issue, a women’s health issue, and a gender violence issue. Children in Minnesota can be assured that we take this issue seriously and parents will not escape the consequences if they harm their little girl.”
House File 2621 would establish a criminal penalty of a felony and punishable from 5-20 years in prison for a parent or guardian who knowingly consents to female genital mutilation of a child. The penalty for the person who performs FGM would increase, as well, to match the penalty of the parent or guardian. Penalties would be based on the four recognized levels by the World Health Organization. The bill would also require mandatory reporting of suspected maltreatment in this manner, triggering child protective services for these children.
“The penalty for committing this heinous act to children should be strict,” said Franson. “There is no place for FGM in our communities. Children, like adults, deserve the same protections from oppression.”