Although it’s an all-too-common practice that victimizes young girls in some parts of the world, wanting to put a stop to female genital mutilation seems like a no-brainer in America. But that’s not the case for some people in Wyoming.

The Wyoming legislature has proposed a bill, designated HBO127, which seeks to define female genital mutilation as a form of aggravated assault and battery. If it becomes law, it would also prohibit medical professionals from performing any such procedure, require that female genital mutilation (FGM) be reported as child abuse, and mandate that those convicted of the practice must be added to the state’s child abuse register, among other things.

The bill enjoys wide support among both Democrats and Republicans. However, it is being attacked from an unexpected source: the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (WCADVSA). The WCADVSA has accused the bill of seeking to impose “draconian limits on transgender people.”

Female genital mutilation involves the altering or removal of parts of a girl’s genitalia. Under a strict definition of the term, gender-altering surgery could be seen as a type of FGM. However, Wyoming’s bill already takes that into account, declaring such an operation legal if the person undergoing it is over 18 and gives her consent.

It is rare for a doctor to perform gender-altering surgery on anyone under 18. Nevertheless, Representative Sara Burlingame (D-Cheyenne) objected to the language of the gender alteration section of the bill, claiming that it will “bog this bill down with something that’s going to stop it in its tracks.”

Tara Muir, Policy Director of the WCADVSA, also objected, opining that “Wyoming cannot be the first state with such draconian limits on transgender people.”

Some discussion of the debate on Twitter referenced Renee Bergstrom, an American woman who has written negatively about her experience with FGM as a child while she was being raised in a religious cult in Oklahoma. Some tweets blasted Bergstrom for using the term “female genital mutilation,” on the grounds that “not all people with vaginas are women, and not all women have vaginas.”

 

4 thoughts on “Wyoming protesters say ban on female genital mutilation is anti-transgender”
  1. Pass the law and include male genitalia, too. it should be the law of the land. Protect the children from the loony parents who didn’t get what they wanted so they turn to surgical manipulation. Protect the children from any source trying to alter them for ANY reason. God made these babies with the chromosomes He wanted them to have. No man should be allowed to change it.

    Should an adult choose sexual reassignment, which is mentally disturbing, he/she can get the “parts” removed or added, but it will not change their birth gender.

  2. You can’t smoke or buy cigarettes or drink at 18 but they want a girl who is a minor to be able to make a decision that is lift altering? But if something goes wrong then it’s the parents fault. Just like some bill maker thought it was ok to give a minor who is 14 the right to their mental health treatment and deny it if they want, yet the parents are held responsible if something goes wrong. Maybe this is why you have shootings. Let them be an adult over the age of 21 before it can be done. We all know teenagers make rash decisions early on in life that they regret later. After all this is a fad and is being push as the new norm. We all know you people are impressionable.

  3. Most people do not know what female genital mutilation is, since there are many different procedures involving genitalia. There is an African tradition where the clitoris is removed, and the intent is to reduce sexual pleasure. But that is not the Mideast or Islamic tradition. The Quran only suggest a slit of the prepuce hood, in order to increase sexual pleasure. These are totally opposite operations, and are incorrectly being labeled the same. That is why this bill is extremely wrong. It is not detailed enough, so does not differentiate.

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