Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

2/5/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,

Tuesday is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

To raise awareness of the barbaric practice of Female Genital Mutilation, Republican Rep. Heather Sirocki of Scarborough is hosting a special event at the Hall of Flags at the Capitol Building in Augusta.

The event will take place at 3:30 pm.

In honor of protecting little girls from this cruel and brutal practice, Rep. Sirocki is encouraging attendees to wear something pink.

Female Genital Mutilation survivor, F.A. Cole, will be sharing her courageous tale with the audience and media.

In the video at the top of the story, you can watch a moving presentation Cole gave in Pennsylvania recently.

Representatives from the AHA Foundation will also be on hand.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted unanimously to triple penalties for Female Genital Mutilation.

So far, 26 states have banned Female Genital Mutilation.

Our neighbors in New Hampshire could be the next state to pass a prohibition on Female Genital Mutilation. A ban has passed through committee unanimously and awaits a vote in front of the full House.

Gov. Paul LePage is expected to introduce a Female Genital Mutilation ban bill for minors in Maine Tuesday.

A similar bill was introduced by Rep. Sirocki last session. However, in a shocking move, House Democrats voted down the ban in a 76-71 vote.

Click here for a roll call of the vote. Yeas are votes to kill the bill.

It’s hard to imagine anyone being against ending this inhumane practice. However, Maine Democrats were joined by the Maine American Civil Liberties Union and the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault. They decided to tuck their heads in the sand and pretend Female Genital Mutilation does not happen.

However, a study by the Population Reference Bureau found incidents of Female Genital Mutilation doubled from 2005-2015.

The report found more than 500,000 women are either victims of or at risk of Female Genital Mutilation – including more than 160,000 girls under the age of 18.

Female Genital Mutilation is typically associated with some Muslim communities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Female Genital Mutilation is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. In some cultures, the vulva is sewn shut, only to be ripped open on the woman’s wedding night.

The practice is designed to curb sexual desire in women.