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.