NC Senate votes to ban female genital mutilation

Vote was unanimous, bill moves to House.

Posted Updated
NC Legislative Building
Travis Fain
, WRAL statehouse reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Senate voted unanimously Monday to ban female genital mutilation, backing a state law to replace what was once a federal ban.

Under Senate Bill 9, anyone who "circumcises, excises or infibulates" the genitals of a girl under 18 years old could be charged with a Class C felony. Her parents could be charged at the same level for consenting to the procedure or for taking the girl out of state for the operation.

There are exceptions for medically necessary procedures.

The practice, used in some cultures, was banned under federal law in 1996, sponsoring Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth, said Monday. A federal judge struck down that law in November, saying the federal government had overstepped its power but that states could pass their own laws.

Twenty-eight others have done so, according to Krawiec.

The bill moves now to the House for more debate. No one opposed the legislation as it moved through committees the last few weeks in the Senate.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has been a vocal proponent for the bill and put out a statement after Monday evening's vote, commending the Senate for its vote.

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