Senate panel approves legislation to strip licenses from doctors who perform Female Genital Mutilation

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Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday regarding his legislation that would permanently strip doctors of their medical licenses for committing the crime commonly known as “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM).

The legislation passed 5-0 out of committee.

“Any doctor who performs this procedure is not a doctor in my mind,” Sen. Colbeck said.  “They’re a butcher, and not fit to be called a physician. We’re going to add many more penalties, but we need to make sure no one ever sees them as a patient again.”

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. Several news stories now report that as many as 100 young girls could have had this procedure forced upon them in Michigan over the past several years.

As a legal term, FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the genitals of minor aged females for non-medical reasons. The procedures can lead to psychological problems and problems urinating and can complicate childbirth later in life. FGM is sometimes also done in order to make sexual intercourse uncomfortable, and some aspects of the procedure can never be reversed.

The legislation, SB 410 and HB 4639, now moves to the Senate floor for further consideration.

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