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Indiana poised to ban cultural practice of female genital mutilation
2021 Indiana General Assembly

Indiana poised to ban cultural practice of female genital mutilation

Indiana Statehouse

The Indiana Statehouse is located in Indianapolis.

Indiana is set to become the 40th state to criminalize the practice of female genital mutilation.

The General Assembly recently approved Senate Enrolled Act 240 — without a single vote in opposition — sending the FGM ban to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb to be signed into law.

Under the plan, any person who performs or permits the removal of the external female genitalia of child younger than 18 for a non-medical reason can be charged with a Level 3 felony, punishable by up to 16 years in prison and a fine of $10,000, as well as be subject to civil legal liability.

State Rep. Peggy Mayfield, R-Martinsville, the sponsor, said an Indiana FGM ban is needed to cover gaps in a federal law that similarly prohibits female circumcision and other FGM practices common in some African and Asian cultures.

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The measure specifies FGM is not allowed in Indiana even if it is done in connection with a religious ritual or with the consent of the girl’s parents.

It also requires the state license of a physician or health professional who performs FGM to be revoked.

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