Back in mid-February, we Arizona intactivists got excited when a Sun City state senator filed a bill in the Arizona State Senate to put a stiff penalty on female genital mutilation. Senator Judy Burges called for it to be a Class 2 Felony with at least a $25,000 fine.  We quickly pointed out that while we also opposed female cutting,  there was already a federal law passed in 1996 to cover the issue, but why didn’t she put on an easy amendment to her bill and include the protection of males from genital mutilation, namely the assault of routine infant circumcision?  Let’s make things fair.  Let’s protect all our people from sexual assault.

In reaction to the bill’s filing,  Senator David Bradley, D-Tucson, was quoted in the press as wondering aloud and suggested “perhaps the proposal should be extended to procedures done on boys.”  When we saw that, we went to writing both senators, and two of our finest voices for boys’ genital rights traveled to Tucson one Saturday to discuss the issue with Sen. Bradley, hoping he might work to amend the bill or raise the debate.   When you are Democrat in the Arizona Legislature, with both houses solidly controlled by Republicans — mostly very conservative to boot — you don’t get far.  If Bradley was serious, there is little evidence he pursued this.   Some would say it will snow 40 inches in Phoenix before male circumcision is curbed in this state given the mindset and political culture.

I posted my letter to Bradley in  a Feb. 13 blog.  Like my letter to Burges, I got no response.

Senate Bill 1342, tagged “Unlawful Mutilation – Female Genitalia,” moved swiftly through Judicial, Health and Rules Committees.  In the Senate, it was approved in early April on “consent agenda,” a packaging with other bills that got approved without comment.  Exactly 18 seconds were devoted to it on April 3 when the Arizona House approved it with zilch discussion.  All were unanimous votes, and it goes on to female Governor Jan Brewer, who’ll certainly sign it.

Males got the shaft.  Hypocrisy, double standard, an ignoring of equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. What will it take?  How can these lawmakers not see such a sham?

Below is the text of the bill as they raised the issue and laid down the law.  It could be so nicely adapted to include males, as well.

HISTORY

The Office of Women’s Health (OWH) reports that the terms female genital cutting (FGC), female circumcision, and female genital mutilation (FGM) all describe the cultural practice of partially or totally removing the external female genitalia. This cultural practice is performed on infants, girls, and women of all ages, varying from country to country and even within countries.

According to OWH, many people believe that FGM is associated with a particular religion, but it is not supported by any religion and is condemned by many religious leaders. The practice crosses religious barriers and many reasons are cited as to why this practice is performed, including social, economic and political reasons.

It is estimated that between 100 million and 140 million girls and women worldwide have received FGM, and there are 3 million girls at risk each year. It is unknown how many women in the United State have received FGM.

Federal law specifies that whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. Federal law also makes it illegal to transport a person from the United States or its territories to another country for the purpose of FGM and specifies that violations are punishable by a fine or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both.

PROVISIONS

  • Specifies that it is unlawful for a person to:
  • Mutilate a female who is under 18 years of age.
  • Knowingly transport a female who is under 18 years of age to another jurisdiction for the purpose of mutilation.
  • Recklessly transport a female who is under 18 years of age to another jurisdiction where mutilation is likely to occur.
  • Prescribes a Class 2 felony and a fine of not less than $25,000.
  • Specifies that persons convicted of unlawful mutilation must serve the entire sentence.

SENATE BILL 1342 further:

  • Stipulates that unlawful mutilation is punishable as a dangerous crime against children if the victim is under the age of 15.
  • Prescribes sentencing guidelines.
  • Declares that parental consent or the consent of the victim is not a defense to a prosecution for unlawful mutilation.
  • Defines mutilate and mutilation.
  • Specifies that mutilate and mutilation as defined by the bill do not include procedures performed by a licensed physician that are proven to be medically necessary due to a medially recognized condition.
  • Adds unlawful mutilation as a reportable offense for the purpose of mandatory reporting. Specifies that civil actions for recovery of damages based on an act of unlawful mutilation or the failure to report must be commenced not later than 10 years.

 

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