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Maine Scraps Bill Outlawing Female Genital Mutilation

Maine Scraps Bill Outlawing Female Genital Mutilation

Prosecutors wanted to be able to “clarify and specifically identify” female genital mutilation as a crime

Maine’s House rejected a bill that would criminalize female genital mutilation (FGM), the practice that cuts or removes the outside of the female genitalia.

Instead, the House chose to change the bill and amend it to create “an education and outreach program” to stop the practice in the state’s growing immigrant communities.

The Press Herald reported:

After a lengthy and emotional debate, the House voted 76-71 against creating a new crime of “female genital mutilation” – on top of existing federal and state prohibitions – for a procedure estimated by the United Nations to have been performed on at least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries. Instead, House Democrats supported a version that directs the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to establish outreach and education programs featuring “culturally specific services for communities in the state wherein which female genital mutilation of minors might be practiced.”

Rep. Rachel Talbot explained why she amended the bill:

Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross, D-Portland, introduced the amendment to change the bill to require outreach and education programs aimed at communities in Maine where FGM “might be practiced.” Those programs would include support networks for victims of the practice as well as “culturally sensitive professional training.”

“We all share the same goal, and our shared goal is we don’t want female genital mutilation to happen,” said Rep. Charlotte Warren, D-Hallowell, who noted Talbot Ross’s amendment had the support of national policy groups, victims advocates and the immigrant community.

Those who opposed the original bill believe the laws in Maine are more than enough:

The debate over the bill, L.D. 745, was not whether the practice happens worldwide but rather whether it is occurring in Maine, particularly inside the state’s growing communities of African immigrants.

“I do not believe that it is happening in the state of Maine. I truly do not believe that,” said Rep. Lois Galgay Reckitt, D-South Portland. “And I believe if it was happening, it would be prosecuted vigorously by the federal (laws) or by the abuse statutes in this state.”

However, Circa reported that the Maine Prosecutors Association supported this bill because it would allow the prosecutors “to clarify and specifically identify” female genital mutilation as a crime, “with a clear level of crime attributed to both the person doing the cutting as well as the parents who are accomplices.” That’s “because some prosecutors question whether it is ‘aggravated assault when the parents and the children consent.'”

This newly worded bill will go to the Senate.

Michigan’s Approach to FGM

FGM became a hot topic in April after Michigan authorities charged two doctors..

While Maine pushed aside FGM criminalization, Michigan strengthened penalties for those who perform FGM. From CNN:

Performing FGM or transporting another person in the state for the purpose of undergoing FGM will be punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 10 years more than the federal penalty for the crime.

In addition to increasing prison sentences for those involved in FGM, the series of 12 bills passed by the Michigan legislature would revoke the license of any health professional who assists in or commits the procedure.

The laws state that saying the operation is “required as a matter of custom or ritual” will not be an acceptable defense for committing the crime. Parental consent is also not a legal defense, according to the new laws.


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How about just outlawing IGM (infant genital mutilation)?

Informed consent by adults who want to modify their body parts I can understand, but body mods for infants, no matter how culturally significant, don’t seem to respect the self-determination of the individual.

    Milhouse in reply to jhkrischel. | July 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm


    (1) Male circumcision is not objectively and clearly harmful, so parents have the right to make this decision on their children’s behalf just as they so with every normal decision. There is no compelling state interest against it that can override this parental right.

    (2) Male circumcision is a normal and widespread practice, and you have no right to impose your extreme minority beliefs on everyone else, any more than PETA does.

    (3) You might as well cut to the chase and have the law state its purpose explicitly: No Jews or Moslems may reside in this state. Wording it in terms of an ostensibly neutral concern makes no difference, because it’s an obvious pretext.

    (4) Even if the legislature were genuinely concerned about this, and not motivated by antisemitism, passing a law effectively expelling Jews and Moslems would do enormous harm to Maine’s reputation and economy. This is not 1492.

      4th armored div in reply to Milhouse. | July 13, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      to those who down voted Milhause post –
      Jews are commanded to circumcise their sons.

      Religious male circumcision generally occurs shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is most prevalent in the religions of Judaism, Islam, Coptic Christianity, Ethiopian Orthodox Church[1] and Eritrean Orthodox Church.

        jhkrischel in reply to 4th armored div. | July 14, 2017 at 12:56 pm

        And if these muslims believe they are commanded to circumcise their girls, do we let them off the hook?

        Here’s the deal – there’s no harm in waiting until someone is an adult before making permanent body modifications. I’m sure that YHWH won’t mind if Jews wait until they’re 18 (or even 16 when one might possibly assert they have the capacity to consent), before they snip their bits. And I would say the same for any other religion that believed in say, clitoral nicking, or nose piercings, or eyebrow studs, or ritual scarring, or whatever crazy stuff they’d like to do to themselves.

        What makes this different is that these are infants.

          Milhouse in reply to jhkrischel. | July 14, 2017 at 1:29 pm

          And you’re sure of this how? Have you spoken to Him? Because He’s made His opinion crystal clear, and no, waiting till 16 is not an option.

          Nor would it make sense to wait even if it were an option. Doing it at one week is a no-brainer. The baby’s pain nerves are not yet developed, it’s a simple and quick procedure, no anæsthetic needed, most babies barely even notice it when it happens, and he will never remember it. Doing it as a teenager is serious and painful surgery, requires at least local anæsthetic, the recovery is painful and traumatic, and many will simply not be able to face it. They won’t thank you for not having done it when they were babies.

          Oh, and you didn’t mention ear piercing; would you ban doing that to little girls too?!

    Arminius in reply to jhkrischel. | July 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I’ve dealt with this kind of ignorance to many times to forgive it anymore. There are medical benefits to male circumcision. The area under the foreskin provides an ideal warm, moist environment where bacteria can grow and multiply. Removing the foreskin eliminates this breeding ground. This is especially important in sub-Saharan Africa, the one area on earth where HIV is primarily transmitted by heterosexual sex. Circumcision reduces the transmission rate according to bodies that have studied the matter such as WHO by as much as 60%.

    Circumcision is culturally important in sub-Saharan Africa, typically as a rite of passage of an adolescent to an adult. But despite this organizations such as UNICEF have programs that involve sending Muslim and Jewish doctors to show local practitioners how to safely conduct the procedure. The problem is that when the local shaman or medicine man circumcises a boy under bush conditions using a rusty knife or sharp shard of pottery infection can set in so badly that the only remedy is to amputate the organ wholly or in part. It’s no accident that hospitals in South Africa led the world in penis transplants. It’s where the need is greatest.

    We are not talking about a cultural practice. In fact when boy infant is circumcised under sanitary clinical conditions it is not only perfectly safe it eliminates the future possibility of a circumcision later for symbolic cultural purposes. Moreover it also does not impair the child’s future enjoyment of sex.

    Female genital mutilation is so much the opposite of male circumcision I refuse to call it circumcision. It involves a complete or partial clitorectomy. Since unlike male circumcision there is no medical benefit to the barbaric practice neither UNICEF or anyone else is sending doctors to demonstrate how to perform FGM under sanitary clinical conditions. There are no medical benefits; FGM exists for one reason and one reason only. To control women by reducing or eliminating their ability to enjoy sex. So this continues to be done in most of the world in the same unsanitary bush conditions that used to be true for men as well. They have their clitoris gouged out with a rusty knife or sharp shard of pottery. Or maybe a broken Coke bottle.

    This isn’t to imply it would be OK to do it in a clinic in Portland, Maine, or Dearborn, Michigan. There is no justification for FGM. There is for male circumcision, but not for this.

    Please do not comment on something you clearly know nothing about. You will only embarrass yourself.

      Arminius in reply to Arminius. | July 13, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      I see I’ve already gotten a thumbs down. Excellent. A brilliant move professor. And I mean that in every sense of the word, most sincerely.

      It provides a measure for how many nitwits know and hate the fact I have the better argument. And they have to admit it.

      I have a great deal of compassion for you, nitwits. It’s gotta suck to learn that you are so far off base you can’t string three sentences together in an attempt to defend your position. So you get sucked in by the “thumbs down” button (again, genius, professor). It’s so much easier to hit that thumbs down button than attempt what is beyond you.

      A paragraph.

      Canto28 in reply to Arminius. | July 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      “FGM exists for one reason and one reason only. To control women by reducing or eliminating their ability to enjoy sex.”

      Exactly. Are these opposing lawmakers afraid of offending Muslims? Lasting & widespread elimination of FGM cannot happen in the West until fear of criticizing Islam ends and its oppressive treatment of women is confronted. In particular, recognize that FGM is called for in Sharia Law (ex., e4.3 of Sharia Law manual “The Reliance of the Traveller”). This tradition & law must be condemned publicly.

      jhkrischel in reply to Arminius. | July 14, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      You can prevent broken arms by amputating arms. You can call avoiding broken arms a “medical benefit”. What you need to measure is cost vs. benefit.

      Now, perhaps you don’t value your foreskin as much as someone else might. That is certainly your prerogative.

      But you must agree, no infant can tell us how much they will value their foreskin.

      This leads to the obvious conclusion that we should do the hard work of parenting, and washing the penis thoroughly while our child is too young to take care of themselves, and avoiding infection through proper hygenic habits, rather than by destroying and removing perfectly healthy tissue. Any “benefit” of convenience to the parent weighs very lightly in this consideration for me.

      Put another way, if vaccinations caused earlobes to fall off of infants, leaving the rest of the child otherwise intact, I’d be against vaccinations. Otherwise, it’s clear that the cost/benefit of vaccinations allows a parent to override any preference an infant might have.

      When it comes to perfectly healthy tissue, it’s another story.

Next up: elective abortion or denying life based on pseudo-religious/Pro-Choice grounds, including: wealth, pleasure, leisure, narcissistic indulgence, quasi-scientific reasoning (e.g. evolution when convenient), Democratic leverage, and Planned Parenthood et al corporate profits.

Also, social liberals targeting prepubescent and adolescent boys and girls for doctrinal and surgical transgender conversion therapy.

Perhaps female chauvinists that set boys and girls, men and women, at each other’s throats for political progress, social forcing, and financial gain.

What’s the over/under for how long it will take to see Democratic Party politicians publicly calling for mandatory FGM coverage in all health insurance plans?

broomhandle | July 13, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Would it be ok to allow the removal of the clitoral hood instead of traditional FGM?

    puhiawa in reply to broomhandle. | July 13, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Mohamed was very conflicted about this, and ultimately requested nothing but a harmless, symbolic “nick”. As usual, Muslims ignore any dogma calling for moderation and instead embrace the most savage alternative.

      Arminius in reply to puhiawa. | July 13, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Can you provide a source for your claim that Muhammad was conflicted and only requested a harmless, “ceremonial nick?”

      This is as close to a source as I can come to that, from one of the Sahih Sittah or reliable six of the six canonical collections of ahidith in Sunni Islam.

      Sunan Abu Dawud – Book of General Behavior (Kitab Al-Adab) – (180) Chapter: Regarding circumcision:

      “Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah:

      A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.

      Abu Dawud said: It has been transmitted by ‘Ubaid Allah b. ‘Amr from ‘Abd al-Malik to the same effect through a different chain.

      Abu Dawud said: It is not a strong tradition. It has been transmitted in mursal form (missing the link of the Companions)

      Abu Dawud said: Muhammad b. Hasan is obscure, and this tradition is weak.”

      Despite the comments above, al-Albani rated this a Sahih or genuine hadith. That’s the highest ranking or top-tier hadith. And nowhere do I see “ceremonial nick.” His remark that the woman should not “cut severely” leaves a lot of wiggle room for butcher as it is a long way from “harmless” or “ceremonial.”

Make it illegal to a) kill babies in the womb and b) chop or remove any parts off of them surgically.

WHAT THE F is wrong with “western society”?

NO, it is NOT necessary to remove male foreskins or any part of female anatomy.

    There are some professions in which it is essential to remove part of the male reproductive organs. Where else is the GOPe going to get more recruits?

    Milhouse in reply to LisaGinNZ. | July 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    The majority of parents disagree with you and do find it necessary. Jews and Moslems find it so necessary that banning it would effectively mean they are expelled from the state. If you’re really willing to have Maine do that then you’re at least objectively antisemitic. Don’t forget whose blog this is.

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | July 13, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      Please clarify. Are you equating a bris with a clitorectomy?

        Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | July 14, 2017 at 12:04 am

        No, of course not. How could you possibly see that in my comment? LisaGinNZ wrote “Make it illegal to a) kill babies in the womb and b) chop or remove any parts off of them surgically”, and “NO, it is NOT necessary to remove male foreskins”. I take it you disagree with this as strongly as I do, so why would you think I meant anything else?

          Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | July 14, 2017 at 3:26 pm

          You keep talking about Jews and Muslims as if you are of the same mind when it comes to circumcision. Some disregard FGM entirely. Other Muslims think of it as a “courtesy to the husband.” I can not explain what these Muslims mean by this as they couldn’t adequately explain it to me. Still others say it is Sunnah. I.E. derived from the example of Muhammad and thus normative for Muslims. Other Muslims believe FGM is divinely commanded.

          I asked you to clarify because unless you make these sorts of distinctions you are allying yourself with Muslims who DO equate a bris with a clitorectomy.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 16, 2017 at 1:48 pm

          I am not discussing what some savages, some of whom happen to be Moslem, do to girls. That has nothing to do with Islam, which tolerates such practices but does not encourage them. I am talking about jhkrischel’s and LisaGinNZ’s attacks on male circumcision, which is a subject on which Jews and Moslems have a shared interest.

      Canto28 in reply to Milhouse. | July 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      Are you opposed to criminalizing just FGM?
      What excuse could there be for not outlawing this horrible abuse of young girls?

    4th armored div in reply to LisaGinNZ. | July 13, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Jews are commanded to circumcise their sons.

    Religious male circumcision generally occurs shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is most prevalent in the religions of Judaism, Islam, Coptic Christianity, Ethiopian Orthodox Church[1] and Eritrean Orthodox Church.

The argument of circumcision vs FGM is a sub.

The males sexual pleasure and health is enhanced by one and the female experiences horrible health problems, severe pain for a lifetime, and zero sexual pleasure by the other.

It’s horrible and disgusting and may the Maine pu$$ys rot in hell.

… to establish outreach and education programs …

Oh, good. The primary function of Liberal governance has been preserved; to expend money on yet another government program, while running no danger that the actual problem will addressed.

It’s most reassuring to see that even out in Boonieville, the Dems in the legislature know their jobs.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | July 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm

What the Hell is wrong with Maine?

What excuse could there be for not outlawing FGM – a horrible abuse of young girls?

    Milhouse in reply to Canto28. | July 14, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Read the article before commenting. It’s already illegal, and it’s not a problem in Maine, so why make a law specifically banning it? This is pure virtue signaling, and people on this site are usually against that.

I guess they’ll have to be circumcised in the back alleys with clothes hangers like in the old days. How many lives will be ruined by botched circumcisions? How many more lives will be ruined by unwanted orgasms? Stop the madness!