Republican Representative, Heather Sirocki sponsored the bill that would criminalize female genital mutilation, practiced by Muslims, as a Class B crime in Maine, punishable 10 years in jail and a fine of about $20,000. ACLU is opposing the bill.
The American Civil Liberties Union launched a vocal opposition this week against a Maine bill criminalizing female genital mutilation (FGM), Mainely Media reports.
However, the Maine ACLU staunchly opposes the protection. ACLU spokesman Oamshri Amarasingham said that the risk of mutilation isn’t worth expanding Maine’s criminal code. The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault also supported the ACLU, arguing that FGM is not happening in Maine.
Sirocki, however, pointed to a 2012 report from the Center for Disease Control, which found 500,000 victims of FGM in the US. Furthermore, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found that 400 individuals have been arrested and 785 deported for FGM violations nationwide since 2003.
While FGM has been a crime federally since 1996, Maine is one of the highest-risk areas in the country for the practice, and Sirocki said that law enforcement needs to be able to try offenders on the state level.