CASPER, Wyo. — A Wyoming House of Representatives bill would explicitly prohibit female genital mutilation in the state if it were to become law.
The legislation would also create new criminal sentencing guidelines for anyone convicted of engaging in female genital mutilation.
The bill defines female genital mutilation as “the partial or total removal of the clitoris, prepuce, labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora, the narrowing of the vaginal opening such as through the creation of a covering seal formed by cutting and repositioning the inner or outer labia, with or without removal of the clitoris, any harmful procedure to the genitalia, including pricking, piercing, incising, scraping or cauterizing or any other actions intended to alter the structure or function of the female genitalia for nonmedical reasons.”
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Several exceptions are provided for including when some over 18 consents to undergo sex reassignment surgery or consents to have body-art “procedures or piercings.”
Another exception is made if a licensed health care providers deems medical procedures on a female’s genitals necessary for their physical health.
Provisions in the bill would add female genital mutilation to aggravated assault and battery statutes and would would explicitly eliminate “religion, ritual, custom or standard practice” as a legitimate defense in cases in which someone is accused of female genital mutilation.
Female genital mutilation would also be defined under second degree human trafficking and child abuse and neglect statutes.
The bill is sponsored by Representatives Laursen, Hallinan, Loucks and Tass.
The House is tentatively set to consider the bill as part of an introductory consent list vote on Friday, Feb. 14.
During a budget session, at least two-thirds of the House must vote to have a proposed bill or resolution introduced. Those resolutions which meet this threshold are then assigned to a committee.
Committees which have been assigned resolutions after approval on an introductory vote in the House will vote to “pass,” “do not pass” or “pass with amendments.”
Resolutions which make it out of committee then return to the full House for consideration. The House then must approve a resolution on three readings before it is sent to the Senate, who must pass it on three readings.
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