AUGUSTA, Maine — Female genital mutilation is already outlawed in the U.S., but some lawmakers want to specifically outlaw it in Maine.
The United Nations has condemned female circumcision, which is common in parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Two bills would make the practice a Class A crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage is backing a proposal by GOP Rep. Heather Sirocki, who says the fear of being called racist is preventing some professionals from reporting young patients with signs of female genital mutilation.
The author of another proposal, Democratic Rep. Barbara Cardone, contends Sirocki’s bill includes unenforceable or unneeded provisions that could stigmatize immigrants. Cardone’s bill involves immigrants outreach services.