What?! Trump’s DOJ Won’t Defend Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

When Americans talk about female genital mutilation (FGM,) it’s typically described as a foreign atrocity. Brace yourselves, though, because it’s not as far away of a problem as you’d think.

For over two decades, the U.S. has outlawed FGM – that is until late last year when a federal judge found an aspect of that law unconstitutional. From there, the Department of Justice had the responsibility to appeal and defend the law in court, and wouldn’t you know it, Trump’s DOJ has decided not to try to keep the FGM ban on the books.

FGM isn’t just immediately painful, it can lead to several serious health and reproductive complications down the road, not to mention a total loss of sexual pleasure. Go figure that an administration that has no trouble attempting to deprive women of autonomy over their bodies would be willing to clear the way for parents to damage their daughters’ genitals out of some warped cultural tradition.


Prosecutors brought charges against two Michigan doctors who performed FGM on children brought in by their parents. The judge ended up ruling that the federal law was unconstitutional because it was a local matter, not a commercial/interstate issue that federal laws usually pertain to.

“As laudable as the prohibition of a particular type of abuse of girls may be, it does not logically further the goal of protecting children on a nondiscriminatory basis,” said the judge. Violent crimes are usually left up to states to prosecute, and because no money appears to have exchanged hands, the judge didn’t consider it a commercial matter.


The DOJ would have certainly had grounds and arguments to make an appeal, but ultimately decided not to pursue it.

When you think about all of the more plainly unconstitutional things that the Trump administration has tried to unsuccessfully defend (more than 60 times) it really starts to look like a matter of terrible priorities. The president’s DOJ just doesn’t see the point in standing up for girls’ reproductive parts when it can instead try multiple times to get a Muslim travel ban instituted or back a baker that doesn’t want to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

In explaining it’s decision not to appeal, the DOJ encouraged Congress to rewrite a better version of the law that the courts wouldn’t object to. Though banning female genital mutilation seems like a no-brainer, it’s far from a guarantee. Republicans are currently blocking the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which goes to show that just because you’d think girls’ well-being is a non-partisan issue doesn’t mean legislators see it that way.

Take Action!

Add your name to this popular petition to ask the American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Physician Specialties to revoke the licenses of the doctors who performed FGM.

Meanwhile, now that it seems that states will have to pass their own legislation in lieu of a federal law, use this helpful map to verify whether or not your state already has any FGM laws on the book. If it doesn’t, alert a state lawmaker by creating your own Care2 petition.




Sharonsick R
Past Member about a month ago

Signed petition. Thank you.

Sabrina Degasperi
Sabrina Degasperiabout a month ago

I signed this petition on November 2018, the 29th.
I'll sign thousand of petitions like this if necessary.

rita u
rita uljeeabout a month ago

signed it won`t stop those ignorent cruel parents from doing anyway but it`s a way to try to stop this anyway we can!

Chad Anderson
Chad Andersonabout a month ago

When is the US government going to stop with the fantasy that women are not people?

Chad Anderson
Chad Andersonabout a month ago


silja salonen
silja salonenabout a month ago

this government is at war with women.. this is a full on assault on little girls. disgusted with the that #45. and all the people in his administration who are drinking the kool-aid.

Olivia H
Olivia Habout a month ago

Signed, of course.

Wayne Middleton
Wayne Middletonabout a month ago

Traitor trump and his people are the most corrupt , ignorant , bought and paid for group of criminals , that the USA has put in power. Sadly the Pelosi led democrats are gutless to push back. Pelosi should be removed as house leader and put someone with guts!.

Shirley S
Shirley Sabout a month ago

Petition signed

Emily J
Emily Jabout a month ago

FGM is child abuse, the sort of people who WOULDN'T be against it are not fit leaders.