The AHA Foundation applauds passage of the ‘Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act’, which was passed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The Act strengthens the existing federal FGM ban by adding an “extraterritoriality” component, making it illegal to knowingly transport a girl out of the country for the purpose of undergoing the procedure.
This amendment was designed to address the all-too-common practice of “vacation cutting”, in which girls living in the United States are taken to their parents’ country of origin during school breaks to undergo the procedure. Those found guilty under the new legislation will be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment (the same penalty imposed on those who commit FGM within the United States).
Senator Harry Reid and Representatives Joseph Crowley and Mary Bono Mack — three legislators with a demonstrated commitment to women’s issues — spearheaded the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act. The AHA Foundation commends their efforts, and applauds the President for signing this bill into law.