(WAVE) - Kentucky lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would outlaw female genital mutilation.
A similar bill died in the 2018 regular legislative session.
The national campaign EndFGMToday is pushing for lawmakers to take a stronger stance this year against the act that they refer to as ‘a heinous form of child abuse’ with Senate Bill 72.
In a statement, child welfare advocate Elizabeth Yore, who heads EndFGMToday, said:
“Kentucky has one of the toughest laws in the nation against child marriage. It’s time to also step up to protect its female residents from the terrible, brutal procedure of FGM that leaves physical and emotional scars for an entire lifetime.”
SB 72 would, among other things, create the Class B felony of female genital mutilation, require any doctor convicted of female genital mutilation to have their medical license revoked and require law enforcement training on female genital mutilation.
The bill is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of at least 11 Kentucky lawmakers, including Sens. Julie Adams, Whitney Westerfield, Ralph Alvarado, Tom Buford, Danny Carroll, Rick Girdler, Denise Harper Angel, Paul Hornback, Alice Forgy Kerr, Morgan McGarvey and Gerald A. Neal.
Read more about Senate Bill 72 here.