With passage of HB245, Alaska will join Texas, Florida, Oregon, Colorado and a growing number of states who have outlawed the horrific practice known as female genital mutilation of a minor. Twenty-five other states, throughout all parts of the country, have already outlawed this practice with bills to criminalize the practice currently being pursued in several other states.
“After living for a year in the country ranked the world’s most dangerous country to be a woman – Afghanistan, I cannot put into words my deep concern that a practice like female genital mutilation could be practiced here at home in Alaska. To perpetrate such a crime on a minor is without exception, a violation of the natural, God-given right to liberty guaranteed to all persons in the Constitution of the State of Alaska,” declared Eastman.
“As a father of two young daughters, it would violate every creed I hold dear to permit this type of practice to be done to them. I desire no less for every girl in Alaska, and the cultural setting in which they happen to grow up should make no difference. All should be afforded equal protection under the law.”
The drafting of HB245 was undertaken after a careful review of statutes in the twenty-five states that already outlaw FGM. By reviewing current federal law and variations in each of those states, Alaska will benefit from the experience of states like Texas and others who first passed their laws in the 90s and have since gone about the process of revising them based on the lessons learned since that time.
For more information contact Representative Eastman’s office at (907) 465-2186.