Bill to ban genital mutilation of girls advances

TRENTON – The Senate Health Committee unanimously released bill S1171, which would prohibit the practice of genital mutilation on girls under age 18.

Officials estimate that more than 228,000 females nationwide are at risk from the mutilation.

The League of American Families opposed the bill because it makes exceptions for the practice for religious reasons, which can be constitutionally challenged.

John Tomicki, the group’s executive director, said he would have preferred the procedure “be banned period,” unless it is “medically necessary.”

While all the committee members voted to release it, Sens. Diane Allen (R-7) of Edgewater Park and Dawn Addiego (R-8) of Evesham, echoed Tomicki’s sentiments, preferring the procedure be banned unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Bill to ban genital mutilation of girls advances