August newsletter: Ban FGM by 2020 campaign launched, Senior Director attends ALEC conference, Direct helpline provides necessary

Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,
This month, we launched a challenge both to legislators and to you, our loyal supporters, to help Ban FGM in the U.S. by 2020. We announced this challenge at the 46th American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting alongside a brave, US-born survivor of FGM who also called on lawmakers to ban this practice. Read here about our activism at the ALEC conference.
We applaud North Carolina and Illinois for taking a stand against FGM. North Carolina recently became the 35th state in the country to ban this practice. On August 9th, the governor of Illinois signed a strengthening bill that removes the statute of limitations for survivors who were under the age of 18 at the time the procedure was committed. Though these laws demonstrate great progress, 15 states have yet to criminalize FGM within their borders.  
As we fight for bills that will free girls from FGM across the nation, we must also continue to help survivors and at-risk women and girls. In this blog , you’ll hear from our two mental health professionals on staff who provide support via our helpline, and gain insights on how they use their experience to influence the realm of mental health.
Please stand with us again and support the Ban FGM by 2020 campaign. With your support, we can free girls and empower futures.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder