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Keogh Therapeutic Massage | Jo Pritchard Keogh, BCTMB, LMT, TTT

Criminalizing Female Genital Mutilation in Connecticut


Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice that primarily targets girls between infancy and fifteen years of age. It has absolutely no therapeutic benefits, and can lead to a host of physical and psychological problems, including hemorrhage, infections, shock, urinary problems, menstrual problems, childbirth complications, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and death.

The four types of FGM include the following:

  • Type 1:  The partial or total removal of the clitoral glans and/or the prepuce/clitoral hood.
  • Type 2:  The partial or total removal of the clitoral glans and the labia minora, with or without removal of the labia majora.
  • Type 3: Also known as infibulation, this is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora, or labia majora, sometimes through stitching, with or without removal of the clitoral prepuce/clitoral hood and glans (Type I FGM).
  • Type 4: This includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.
  • Why am I talking about FGM here? Because it’s legal in Connecticut. In fact, it has been legal in Connecticut since the national ban on FGM was turned over by a federal judge in November of 2018.

    There are currently over 2,600 girls and women at risk for FGM in Connecticut, 1,128 of whom are under the age of 18. Connecticut is also one of only ten states in which FGM is currently legal, which puts us at risk of becoming a destination state for "vacation cutting" (Yes, that’s actually a thing.)

    In 2020, I joined a bipartisan effort to criminalize FGM in Connecticut. Unfortunately S.B. No. 74, An Act Prohibiting Female Genital Mutilation, failed to pass, as the 2020 legislative session was cut short due to COVID-19.

    I’m committed to continue working toward criminalizing FGM in Connecticut in 2021. All of Connecticut’s women and girls deserve to be protected from this abusive and harmful practice. If you’d like to be involved with this initiative, please contact me!

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