Support Elizabeth Scott's Bill to Criminalize Female Genital Mutilation

Washington State Representative Elizabeth Scott to introduce
Female Genital Mutilation Bill (FGM) on Monday January 12, 2015,
and needs YOUR help!

From Act For America

Representative Elizabeth Scott of the 39th Legislative District will be introducing our FGM bill on Monday and needs you to call your state representatives to co-sponsor the bill. A bill number won't be assigned until sometime on Tuesday but you can still call and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. The more co-sponsors we get, the more likely it is that we get a hearing.

Please take a moment to call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to ask your representative to co-sponsor the bill. It takes just two minutes.

If you would like to call your legislator's office and do not know who they may be, go to http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/ to find your representatives.

To see a copy of last year's bill, go to: http://app.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2190&year=2013

The bill:

  • makes FGM a class B felony,
  • does not allow the defense of culture, religion, or consent
  • makes it a reportable crime like child abuse
  • makes it a crime to take a minor out of the state to have FGM performed
  • does not apply to male circumcision
  • does not apply to doctors trying to repair FGM
  • requires the county prosecuting attorneys to submit an annual report to the legislature

Calls are more effective than emails but if you decide to email your legislators, please include the following points:

* FGM was federally outlawed in 1996 but has increased in America since then. 228,000 women and girls in the U.S. have either suffered the procedure or are at risk of FGM, a number that increased by approximately 35% between 1990 and 2000.

http://theahafoundation.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/AHA-Foundation-FGM-Fact-Sheet-201409.pdf

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/11/america-s-underground-female-genital-mutilation-crisis.html

* Currently, we have no way of knowing the extent of the problem in Washington state. This bill would provide the statistics needed to ascertain the magnitude of the problem.

* Once we have a baseline, we can determine if resources are needed for education for the prevention and eradication of the practice.

* With our immigrant population increasing, we need a mechanism to protect these girls from this barbaric practice.

It is likely that many of the at-risk girls are on some type of state assistance and the taxpayers end up paying for the treatment that is required.

* Twenty-two states currently have state laws prohibiting FGM.

* Washington State is 9th on the list of women at the highest risk for FGM (7,292)

Please do this TODAY as we do not have a lot of time to get co-sponsors. Thank you for all you are doing for our state and our country!

Kerry Hooks
WA State Director
ACT for America

What do you think? Please add your comments below.