U.S. senators are providing a glimmer of hope that female genital mutilation will be banned nationally.
Elizabeth Yore, who heads End FGM Today, says the Centers for Disease Control reported in 2015 that approximately 513,000 U.S. women and girls are at risk of FGM. Those numbers have since tripled.
A 1996 federal law bans the practice but the law was ruled unconstitutional following a Michigan trial last year involving two Detroit-area doctors charged with cutting or mutilating nine girls.
Following that legal ruling, several U.S. senators have introduced a bill to ban the practice once more.
An op-ed in The Washington Examiner reports Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is a co-sponsor along with Marsha Blackburn, Martha McSally, Joni Ernst, Shelley Moore Capito, and Deb Fisher.
The bill addresses the commerce clause issue that hurt the 1996 law.
“In my opinion, this is one of the most heinous forms of child abuse,” Yore says. “It's nothing more than child abuse of the most barbaric form.”
Meanwhile, the gruesome practice is banned by 33 states meaning FGM is still legal in 17 others.