LANSING, Mich. – State senators unanimously approved Rep. Peter Lucido's legislation allowing the termination of parental rights for anyone who forces their child to undergo female genital mutilation.
According to Lucido's office, the legislation was inspired by a February incident where two young girls from Minnesota were subjected to the procedure at a Livonia clinic. Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar were arrested on federal charges in April after performing the procedure after hours at their medical clinic, while Dr. Jumana Nagarwala has been fired from their emergency room doctor position for performing the procedure at the same Livonia clinic.
Female genital mutilation is defined as any procedure intended to remove or damage the external genitalia. Anyone convicted under state law that bans the practice may be brought in for a separate legal hearing to determine the child’s best interest.
“Nobody who forces their child to undergo an FGM should be legally allowed to continue to be a parent to that child because they are clearly not concerned with the well-being of their own flesh and blood,” said Lucido, vice chair of the House Law and Justice Committee. “Children who go through this barbaric act are brutalized mentally and physically, which is not justified for being a parent.”
The bill follows a seven-bill bipartisan legislative package signed into law in June that criminalized the act of performing the FGM or transporting a child to have the procedure, which now results in the removal of the accused's medical license if found guilty, and extended the statute of limitations for civil and criminal justice for the victims.
The legislation now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his review.
“This bill will strengthen Michigan’s resolve against this barbaric act,” Lucido said. “I know I’m not alone in not wanting one more child to be disfigured for life.”