United States: Judge Orders Charges Dropped in Female Genital Mutilation Case

On November 20, 2018, a U.S. federal judge in Michigan ordered the female genital mutilation (FGM) charges against two doctors, the doctors’ assistants, and the victims’ parents be dropped. The case involved the procedure being performed on nine girls from Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota.

The judge, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, concluded in his ruling that the 1996 federal law prohibiting FGM was unconstitutional and beyond the scope of federal jurisdiction as "FGM is a local criminal activity" and therefore, should be left to the states to regulate. It is expected that the the U.S. prosecutor will appeal the case. 

FGM was banned internationally in 2012 by a resolution passed unanimously in the United Nations General Assembly.

Compiled from: Folley, Aris, Judge Orders Female Genital Mutilation Charges Be Dropped in Historic Case, The Hill (November 20, 2018); and United Nations bans female genital mutilationUN Women (December 20, 2012).