COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio General Assembly has sent to Gov. John Kasich a bill that would make it illegal to perform female genital mutilation on girls under age 18.
Known by its initials of FGM, it is a ritual practice in some cultures of cutting and sometimes removing part of a woman’s or girl’s clitoris and labia. The result of the mutilation can be excruciating pain during sex, childbirth or even while urinating, according to the World Health Organization.
Senate Bill 214 would ban FGM, and it would also prohibit people from taking girls out of the state or country for it, which has been increasing in recent years. People who violate the law would be charged with a second-degree felony, facing a sentence of two-to-eight years of imprisonment, and a fine up to $15,000. Courts would be required under the bill to fine offenders an additional penalty of up to $25,000.
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