Make female genital mutilation a level 3 felony in IN.

Make female genital mutilation a level 3 felony in IN.

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Denisse Mendez started this petition to Senator Todd Young and

W.H.O defines Female Genital Mutilation as a procedure that involves the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia.  There are four different procedures that can be performed to conduct FGM which include Clitoridectomy, Exicision, Infibulation, and Nicking. Chlitoridectomy is a procedure that involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris (NHS, 2019).  Infibulation is narrowing the vaginal opening by the formation of a seal (NHS, 2019). Excision is the total or partial removal of the external part of the clitoris and inner labia (NHS, 2019). Nicking is the act of picking, piercing, scraping and burning of the genital area (NHS, 2019). 


Those who support this act justify the practice with religious beliefs, cultural practices, and hygienic purposes, but there is no justifiable reason for this act to be performed on girls and women.This procedure can be damaging both physically and mentally to the girls and women to whom it is performed. This procedure can result in haemorrhage, infection, genital swelling, HIV, urinary tract infection, childbirth complications, depression, anxiety, and PTSD (WHO, 2021). 


Although this does not seem like a practice that would occur in the United States, there are  thousands of women who are at risk of this procedure. In 2012, 513,000 girls were at risk in the United States, which is a 224% growth rate in the at risk population since 1990.(Goldberg et al., 2016). Indiana is one of the only 11 states in America that has not specifically passed legislation on FGM. However, there is currently a bill that can change this. S.B. 240 is a bill in Indiana that would make the act of FGM a level 3 felony. This would convict anyone who performs the act, knowingly transports a minor to have the act performed, and the parent or legal guardian who consents to the act being performed on their child. The physician or healthcare provider that performs the act can also have their license permanently revoked (Indiana General Assembly,2021). A person who is convicted of a level 3 felony in Indiana can receive a sentence of 3-16 years and a fine of $10,000. 


NHS (May 2019). Overview: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/female-genital-mutilation-fgm/

WHO (2021). Health Risks of Female Genital Mutilation. 

https://www.who.int/teams/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-research/areas-of-work/female-genital-mutilation/health-risks-of-female-genital-mutilation


Indiana General Assembly (2021). http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/senate/240#digest-heading

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