The state House today overwhelmingly supported legislation by state Rep. Peter Lucido which allows the termination of parental rights for anyone who has their child undergo a female genital mutilation (FGM).
“A female genital mutilation has no places in the United States, Michigan and especially in a family’s home,” said Lucido, vice chair of the House Law and Justice Committee. “Nobody who forces their child to undergo this procedure should be legally allowed to be a parent to that child. This legislation allows for the revocation of parental rights in the best interest of the child.”
The bill follows a seven-bill bipartisan legislative package signed into law in June which criminalized the act of a female genital mutilation – any procedure performed on girls intended to remove or damage the external female genitalia. Lucido voted in support of the package, but believes a conviction should have an added penalty for a parent or guardian.
“The legislation we approved addressed the act of the FGM itself, transportation to the act, removal of medical license, and extending the statute of limitations for civil and criminal justice for the victims,” Lucido said. “What about the parents who do this? They don’t deserve to be a parent and we had to impose that as an option in state law.”
The previously approved FGM legislation, and Lucido’s bill, follow 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 performing the procedure afterhours at their medical clinic, while a third individual has been fired from their emergency room doctor position for performing the procedure at the same Livonia clinic.
House Bill 4716 advances to the state Senate for its review.