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Female genital mutilation now a felony in Michigan

inside the chambers of the Michigan lesilature
Michigan Municipal League
Female genital mutilation is now a felony in Michigan, and lawmakers are working to pass additional bills on the issue.

Governor Rick Snyder signed a large bill package last week that makes female genital mutilation a felony in Michigan, but he could see more bills on this issue headed to his desk. The additional bills deal with police training and parental rights.

Democratic state Representative Vanessa Guerra sponsored the legislation, HB 4640, on ??educating law enforcement on how to identify the practice and speak with potential victims. 

“It’s a very delicate thing, but I think that if we equip our officers with the knowledge of the procedure it makes it easier for them to have that conversation with the child,” Guerra said.

Guerra is optimistic that bill will pass through the House in the fall. The bill has had two committee hearings, but it hasn’t been voted on yet.

Another bill, HB 4716, would potentially take away parental rights from parents who allow their children to undergo female genital cutting. Republican state Representative Peter Lucido is that bill’s sponsor.

“After a hearing, after giving them an opportunity for due process, if the parents did something like this or a parent or a guardian, then I want the child removed from that household,” Lucido said.

The bill is waiting for a vote by the full state House.  

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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