“Silence is an accomplice to injustice.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
AHA1
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder of The AHA Foundation

The AHA Foundation advocates to expand and strengthen federal and state laws in the US that help protect women and girls from female genital mutilation (FGM), honor violence, forced marriage and other issues that impact the well-being and threaten lives of women and girls.


You can help us by lending your voice to our advocacy campaigns.

STATE LEGISLATION


MASSACHUSSETS RESIDENTS: HELP CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE



    There is currently no state law in Massachusetts that specifically outlaws FGM.


  • Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

    Massachusetts Senate Bill S. 788 and Massachusetts House Bill H. 2333
    The AHA Foundation is currently advising and providing support to the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association Task Force to Ban Female Genital Mutilation on their bill to criminalize FGM. The legislation was filed in January of 2017.

  • Take Action

    Massachusetts residents, please urge your representatives to co-sponsor and pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Legislators here.

Letter sample Find Your Legislators


MICHIGAN RESIDENTS:
HELP CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE



    There is currently no state law in Michigan that specifically outlaws FGM.


  • Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

    Michigan Bipartisan House Bill to Criminalize FGM
    State Representative Stephanie Chang is working with a bipartisan team to introduce FGM legislation in the Michigan House to ban FGM in the state. The AHA Foundation thanks Representative Chang for her leadership on this issue.


  • Take Action

    Michigan residents, please urge your State Senator and State Representative to pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Representative here and your State Senator here.
Letter sample Find Your Legislators


MINNESOTA RESIDENTS: HELP STRENGTHEN FGM LEGISLATION IN YOUR STATE



    State FGM law in Minnesota does not currently include penalties for parents/guardians who consent to having their daughters cut.


  • Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

    State Senate Version of Minnesota House Bill HF 2621
    Led by Representative Mary Franson, the Minnesota House overwhelmingly passed House Bill HF 2621, legislation that would make it a criminal offense for a parent or guardian to consent to or knowingly allow for a girl to undergo FGM. It would further protect children in Minnesota by allowing for peace officers to remove a child from the home if they are found to be at risk of or have undergone FGM. Social services would then take immediate action, including an assessment of the risk to any other children within the family. It’s now up to the Minnesota State Senate to take action to close this dangerous loophole.

  • Take Action

    Minnesota residents, please urge your senators to pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Senators here.

Letter sample Find Your Legislators


TEXAS RESIDENTS:
HELP STRENGTHEN FGM LEGISLATION IN YOUR STATE



    State FGM law in Texas does not currently include penalties for parents/guardians who consent to having their daughters cut.


  • Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

    Texas House Bill to Criminalize FGM
    State Senator Jane Nelson has passed legislation in the Senate that would make it a criminal offense for a parent or guardian to consent to or knowingly allow for a girl to undergo FGM. It will now move to the Texas House of Representatives for review.

  • Take Action

    Texas residents, please urge your representatives to pass legislation to penalize parents/guardians who consent to having their daughters cut without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Representatives here.


Letter sample Find Your Legislators
image
AHA Foundation former Executive Director Stephanie Baric, speaks out against forced marriage at a rally in Union Square, NYC.

Laws and policies relating to honor violence, including honor violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, play a critical role in preventing and responding to honor violence.





YOUR VOICE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

HELP PASS LAWS TO CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE



FGM is not a crime in 25 states shown in grey

NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS:
HELP STOP CHILD MARRIAGE IN YOUR STATE

Gaps in New Jersey state law make child marriage possible.

Children ages 16 and 17 can marry with parental consent, and children aged 15 or younger can marry with judicial approval. Within the current legal framework, there is no minimum age below which a judge can no longer approve a marriage, nor are there any criteria that a marriage involving a minor below the age of 15 must meet to be eligible for judicial approval. Furthermore, judges have the power to approve marriages with spousal age differences constituting statutory rape. There is no mechanism in place to ensure that the required parental consent is not in fact parental coercion.



Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

New Jersey Assembly Bill 3091
A3091 eliminates exceptions to the marriage age, and reserves marriage, a serious legal contract, for those who have reached the age of majority.



Take Action

New Jersey residents, please urge your State Senator and State Representative to pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Legislators  here. In addition to emailing, we urge you to Tweet at and call your legislators.


Letter sample Find Your Legislators

advocacy
Amanda Parker, Interim Executive Director of the AHA Foundation, protests child and forced marriage at New Jersey's Penn Station in July 2016.
Photo by Susan Landmann




Between 1995 and 2012, 3,498 children were married in New Jersey.


Of these children, 177 were between ages 12 and 15, and 91 percent of the children were married to adults, often at ages or with age differences that are considered statutory rape.



“Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali