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S. 2017: Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2019


The text of the bill below is as of Jun 27, 2019 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Should female genital mutilation be illegal under federal law? It had been until last December.

Context

A 1996 law criminalized female genital mutilation for any girl under age 18. Two exceptions had been granted under the law: genital mutilation done out of medical necessity, and if a girl is in labor or has just given birth.

But in December 2018, Michigan federal judge Bernard Friedman ruled the law unconstitutional, saying Congress did not have the power to make such a national law and it was the proper domain of states. The case came after a Livonia, Michigan physician named Dr. Jumana Nagarwala performed female genital mutilation in violation of the ...


II

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 2017

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 27, 2019

(for herself, Ms. Ernst, Mrs. Hyde-Smith, Ms. McSally, Mrs. Capito, and Mrs. Fischer) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend section 116 of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2019.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Congress has previously prohibited the practice of female genital mutilation on minors, which causes physical and psychological harm and is often beyond the ability of any single State or jurisdiction to control.

(2)

Individuals who perform the practice of female genital mutilation on minors rely on a connection to interstate or foreign commerce, such as interstate or foreign travel, the transmission or receipt of communications in interstate or foreign commerce, or interstate or foreign payments of any kind in furtherance of this conduct.

(3)

Amending section 116 of title 18, United States Code, to specify a link to interstate or foreign commerce would confirm that Congress has the affirmative power to prohibit this conduct.

3.

Amendments to current law prohibiting female genital mutilation

Section 116 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by inserting , in any circumstance described in subsection (e), after whoever; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

(e)

For purposes of subsection (a), the circumstances described in this subsection are that—

(1)

the defendant or victim traveled in interstate or foreign commerce, or traveled using a means, channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce, in furtherance of or in connection with the conduct described in subsection (a);

(2)

the defendant used a means, channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in furtherance of or in connection with the conduct described in subsection (a);

(3)

any payment of any kind was made, directly or indirectly, in furtherance of or in connection with the conduct described in subsection (a) using any means, channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce;

(4)

the defendant transmitted in interstate or foreign commerce any communication relating to or in furtherance of the conduct described in subsection (a) using any means, channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce or in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce by any means or in any manner, including by computer, mail, wire, or electromagnetic transmission;

(5)

the conduct described in subsection (a) occurred within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or within the District of Columbia or any territory or possession of the United States; or

(6)

the conduct described in subsection (a) otherwise occurred in or affected interstate or foreign commerce.

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