New legislation targets female genital mutilation in Michigan
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - Federal prosecutors indicted two women accused of taking their seven year old daughters to a Michigan clinic for a procedure where their genitalia was cut.
It's a produce known as female genital mutilation, which is illegal.
Our Political Reporter Nick Minock joins us now in Lansing to explain how lawmakers are trying to prevent this procedure from happening again.
A new bill, which passed the House on Thursday, would take away parental rights from people who allow physicians to perform female genital mutilation on their kids.
The World Health Organization believes more than 200 million women and girls are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation.
It's known to happen in Africa and the Middle East, but lawmakers say Michigan and Minnesota are becoming hot spots for the religious practice.
Federal prosecutors indicted two Minnesota women for bringing their daughters to a Livonia clinic for FGM procedures.
Now, Republican Peter Lucido wants to take away the rights of parents who make their kids undergo FGM for religious or cultural reasons.
"We are in America, We are not in a foreign country," he said.
Some followers of a small sect of Shia Muslims deem FGM as a part of their religious practice. But many Republicans and Democrats call the practice barbaric.
"It's a high priority for the Senate to ensure that we stop this barbaric procedure from happening to our young girls," said Senator Tonya Schuitmaker.
The World Health Organization says FGM is a violation of human rights of girls and it has no known health benefits.