LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would cause doctors to permanently lose their medical license for committing the crime commonly known as “Female Genital Mutilation,” or FGM. As a legal term, FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the genitals of minor aged females for non-medical reasons.
“We want to make sure we send a very clear message that this practice is not acceptable anywhere, but even more clearly never again in Michigan,” Sen. Colbeck said.
Tragic events that occurred earlier this year in Livonia, where little girls as young as 6 years old were mutilated by a local physician, have led to the introduction of several measures to combat the problem. New laws were drafted to make ensure that FGM can be prosecuted as a state-level crime, and to also punish co-conspirators. The Sen. Colbeck legislation would also lead to permanent loss of license.
The procedures can lead to psychological problems, as well as to problems urinating and can complicate childbirth later in life. FGM is sometimes also done in order to make sexual intercourse uncomfortable, and some aspects can never be reversed.
Sen. Colbeck had previously introduced legislation ensuring the procedure could be considered a state crime, and several of the bills have already been voted out of committee with more expected to follow. The latest piece of legislation in the package is Senate Bill 410.