Legislation

Protect women and girls in the United States from female genital mutilation (FGM). Your action is the difference. Contact your representative and ask them to support the bipartisan STOP FGM Act of 2020

116th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                                H. R. 6100

 

To amend title 18, United States Code, to clarify the criminalization

         of female genital mutilation, and for other purposes.

 __________________________________________________________________________                               

 

                                         IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

                                              March 5, 2020

 

Ms. Jackson Lee (for herself and Mr. Bacon) introduced the following

       bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

 

__________________________________________________________________________

                                                     A BILL

 

 

 

To amend title 18, United States Code, to clarify the criminalization

         of female genital mutilation, and for other purposes.

 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the

United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Strengthening the Opposition to

Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2020'' or the ``STOP FGM Act of

2020''.

SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

 

    The Congress finds the following:

            (1) Female genital mutilation is recognized internationally

        as a human rights violation and a form of child abuse, gender

        discrimination, and violence against women and girls. Female

        genital mutilation is a global problem whose eradication

        requires international cooperation and enforcement at the

        national level. The United States should demonstrate its

        commitment to the rights of women and girls by leading the way

        in the international community in banning this abhorrent

        practice.

            (2) Congress has previously prohibited the commission of

        female genital mutilation on minors. Female genital mutilation

        is a heinous practice that often inflicts excruciating pain on

        its victims and causes them to suffer grave physical and

        psychological harm.

            (3) Congress has the power under article I, section 8 of

        the Constitution to make all laws which shall be necessary and

        proper for carrying into execution treaties entered into by the

        United States.

            (4) Congress also has the power under the Commerce Clause

        to prohibit female genital mutilation. An international market

        for the practice exists, and persons who perform female genital

        mutilation in other countries typically earn a living from

        doing so.

            (5) Those who perform this conduct often 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, the use of

        instruments traded in interstate or foreign commerce, or

        payments of any kind in furtherance of this conduct.

            (6) Amending the statute to specify a link to interstate or

        foreign commerce would confirm that Congress has the

        affirmative power to prohibit this conduct. 

SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO CURRENT LAW ON FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION.

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

            (1) by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

    ``(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), whoever, in any

circumstance described in subsection (d), knowingly--

            ``(1) performs, attempts to perform, or conspires to

perform female genital mutilation on another person who has not

        attained the age of 18 years;

``(2) being the parent, guardian, or caretaker of a person

        who has not attained the age of 18 years facilitates or

consents to the female genital mutilation of such person; or

            ``(3) transports a person who has not attained the age of

18 years for the purpose of the performance of female genital

        mutilation on such person,

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or

both.'';

(2) by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:

    ``(c) It shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this section

that female genital mutilation is required as a matter of religion,

custom, tradition, ritual, or standard practice.'';

(3) by striking subsection (d); and

            (4) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(d) For the 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 manner, including by computer, mail, wire, or

        electromagnetic transmission;

            ``(5) any instrument, item, substance, or other object that

        has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce was used to

        perform the conduct described in subsection (a);

            ``(6) the conduct described in subsection (a) occurred

        within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the

        United States, or any territory or possession of the United

        States; or

``(7) the conduct described in subsection (a) otherwise

        occurred in or affected interstate or foreign commerce.

    ``(e) For purposes of this section, the term `female genital

mutilation' means any procedure performed for non-medical reasons that

involves partial or total removal of, or other injury to, the external

female genitalia, and includes--

            ``(1) a clitoridectomy or the partial or total removal of

        the clitoris or the prepuce or clitoral hood;

  ``(2) excision or the partial or total removal (with or

        without excision of the clitoris) of the labia minora or the

        labia majora, or both;

            ``(3) infibulation or the narrowing of the vaginal opening

        (with or without excision of the clitoris); or

            ``(4) other procedures that are harmful to the external

        female genitalia, including pricking, incising, scraping, or

        cauterizing the genital area.''.

SEC. 4. REPORT.

 

    Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this

Act, and annually thereafter, the Attorney General, in consultation

with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, the

Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Education,

shall submit to Congress a report that includes--

  (1) an estimate of the number of women and girls in the

        United States at risk of or who have been subjected to female

        genital mutilation;

            (2) the protections available and actions taken, if any, by

        Federal, State, and local agencies to protect such women and

        girls; and

            (3) the actions taken by Federal agencies to educate and

        assist communities and key stakeholders about female genital

        mutilation.

SEC. 5. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

 

    It is the sense of the Congress that the United States District

Court for the Eastern District of Michigan erred in invalidating the

prior version of such section 116 (See United States v. Nagarwala, 350

F. Supp. 3d 613, 631 (E.D. Mich. 2018)). The commercial nature of

female genital mutilation (hereinafter in this section referred to as

``FGM'') is ``self-evident,'' meaning that the ``absence of

particularized findings'' about the commercial nature of FGM in the

predecessor statute did not ``call into question Congress's authority

to legislate'' (Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1, 21 (2005)).

Nevertheless, the Congress has elected to amend the FGM statute to

clarify the commercial nature of the conduct that this statute

regulates. But, by doing so, Congress does not hereby ratify the

district court's erroneous interpretation in Nagarwala.

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