Judge Throws Out Female Genital Mutilation Case, Says Federal Gov’t Doesn’t Have Authority To Ban Practice

Aaron Homer

a protest sign opposing female genital mutilation

A Michigan judge has thrown out a case against two Michigan doctors and six other individuals, including some mothers, who conspired to subject young women to female genital mutilation, the Detroit Free Press is reporting.

US District Judge Bernard Friedman, while admitting that the controversial practice is “despicable,” ruled that the 22-year-old federal law that prohibits the practice is not within the purview of Congress, saying instead that it’s a matter for the states to enforce.

“Congress overstepped its bounds by legislating to prohibit FGM… FGM is a ‘local criminal activity’ which, in keeping with longstanding tradition and our federal system of government, is for the states to regulate, not Congress.”

What Is Female Genital Mutilation?

Often referred to by its initials, FGM, or colloquially (and erroneously) referred to as “female circumcision,” is a process in which the external female genitalia (usually the clitoris) is removed for non-medical reasons, according to the World Health Organization.

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