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Press Release

Statement from Assistant Attorney General Commending House Judiciary Committee’s Work to Clarify Criminalization of Female Genital Mutilation

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd issued the following statement:

 “Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a form of gender-based violence and child abuse that harms victims not only when they are girls, suffering the immediate trauma of the act, but also throughout their lives as women, when it often results in a range of physical and psychological harms.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half a million women and girls in the United States have already suffered FGM or are at risk for being subjected to FGM in the future.

“The Department of Justice condemns this practice and urges Congress to act on legislation that will clarify the Department’s ability to prosecute such offenses. 

“In April 2019, the Solicitor General of the United States sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging Congress to amend Section 116(a) of Title 18 of the United States Code to clarify the constitutional basis for criminalization of FGM to ensure that such violations can be prosecuted in federal courts.  We commend the House Judiciary Committee for its work on legislation which will ensure that federal FGM prosecutions may be brought.”

Updated March 11, 2020

Press Release Number: 20-302