Political Theater: Maine House Passes Toothless Female Genital Mutilation Ban

4/13/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,

“It was a feel-good vote that I suppose will make it appear that they voted to ban FGM — they did not.”

Those are the words of Republican Rep. Karen Gerrish of Lebanon.

Rep. Gerrish was reacting to news out of the Coliseum on the Kennebec that the Maine State House passed a ban Thursday on Female Genital Mutilation in the Pine Tree State.

However, the bill passed in the House was nothing more than political theater — a show bill.

On Wednesday, the State Senate unanimously passed LD 1904, the strict FGM ban holding the mutilator, consenting parents/guardians and the transporters accountable for this barbaric form of child abuse.

That is not the bill the House passed.

First, the House brought forward one of the two minority reports from the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee — that the bill ‘ought not to pass.’ And the motion almost prevailed.

In fact, 65 swamp creatures — entirely made up of Democrats and independents — voted AGAINST banning FGM.

“Unfortunately, I am not surprised at all,” said Rep. Gerrish, the ranking Republican on the CJPS Committee. “What did surprise me was the unanimous support in the Senate, and I thank them for understanding the seriousness of the issue. I did find it remarkable that 65 House members, primarily Democrats, supported the ‘ought not to pass’ motion. I expected some to back that motion, but much less. I expected maybe 25 or so of the far-Left liberal Democrats to support killing the bill outright. But 65, wow.”

Failing to kill the bill outright, Democrat “leadership” next brought forward the second of the minority report from the CJPS Committee. This one being the controversial amended bill, removing penalties for all accomplices to the crime.

In addition, the bill was further amended to remove the word “mutilation,” from the definition of this so-called Female Genital Mutilation ban.

The watered-down, feckless ban passed with mostly party-line support, in a 73-68 tally. Not a single Republican voted for the toothless version of the ban.

Now the bill heads back to the Senate, where Senators will decide if they want to stick to the bill they passed unanimously, or accept the toothless House version.

Multiple sources at the Capitol tell Maine First Media they expect the Senate to insist on their own version of the bill. The proposed ban would then go back to the House for one last chance to come to an agreement. However, there is little optimism that will happen.

“Ultimately, I believe it will die between the two bodies in non-concurrence,” Rep. Gerrish said. “It’s a very sad state of affairs for young immigrant girls in Maine. Votes like this have consequences. November should be interesting.”
Republican Rep. Heather Sirocki — who has been the leading champion fighting for a ban on Female Genital Mutilation — was the first to bring to Maine First Media’s attention Thursday morning that our neighbors in New Hampshire had joined the ranks of states banning this brutal form of ritual child abuse.
“New Hampshire passed strong anti-FGM legislation this morning,” Rep. Sirocki said. “This is a huge victory as it’s the 27th state to step forward.”

Unfortunately, it’s not looking like Maine will be the 28th.
To fully understand why the ban is next-to-meaningless without holding accomplices accountable, we recommend you read Rep. Sirocki’s explanation in this previous Maine First Media article.
If you’re having a difficult time comprehending how any legislators could be against banning Female Genital Mutilation, the opposition has made their reasoning very clear. They fear offending the immigrant community and being labeled “racist.”
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.

Along with significant health risk to the young girls, women who suffer Female Genital Mutilation are left with life-long physical and emotional scarring.

To learn more about the horrific abuse, listen to FGM survivor, F.A. Cole’s testimony in front of the CJPS Committee. Cole fights through a panic attack to share her story with Maine Legislators in the hope it would save young daughters of Maine immigrants from suffering through the same terrifying experience.