Legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Pamela Hornberger to prevent female genital mutilation in Michigan has been signed into law.
Female genital mutilation is any procedure performed on girls which is intended to remove or damage the external genitalia.
“These bills will help prevent this inhumane procedure and give victims rights,” said Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township. “The legislation signed by the governor criminalizes this act, improves education for state health officials, sets sentencing guidelines, details professional sanctions, and extends the statute of limitations for victims’ criminal and civil justice. That’s a strong and necessary response to a procedure that we’ve heard a lot of about in St. Clair and Macomb counties.”
The legislation follows a February incident where two young girls from Minnesota were subjected to the procedure at a southeast Michigan clinic. A Livonia couple was arrested on federal charges in April after allowing and performing the procedure after hours at their medical clinic, while a third individual has been fired from her emergency room doctor position for performing the procedure at the same Livonia clinic.
“The fact that this took place in Michigan shows the need for stronger standards in our state,” Hornberger said. “There is no health-related, religious or cultural basis for this practice. Michigan will now have one of the strongest legal standards in the country.”
The legislative package includes:
- House Bill 4636 creates a felony offense for performing the procedure.
- HB 4637 makes it a felony offense to transport another for the purpose of performing the procedure.
- HB 4638 establishes that violation of HB 4636 or 4637 will result in imprisonment up to 15 years.
- HB 4639 requires the permanent revocation of a state medical license for anyone convicted under the law established by HB 4636 and 4637.
- HB 4641 extends the statute of limitations for survivors to sue for civil damages after their 18th
- HB 4642 requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to develop an educational program for the public, including new immigrants.
- HB 4661 allows survivors to recover up to three times actual damages, including non-monetary damages costs and attorney fees, during a civil case.
- HB 4690 extends the criminal statute of limitations for FGM survivors until 10 years after the offense or the victim’s 21st birthday, whichever is later.