Maine voters should be worried, really worried.

Sara Gideon, the Democratic Senate candidate and Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives would rather be politically correct than save young women and girls from being mutilated.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) refers to the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia for nonmedical reasons: a practice that has no health benefits and brings lifelong physical and psychological consequences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over half a million young women have experienced this horror, or are at risk of this mutilation in the United States. The number of girls under 18 at risk of FGM in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1997. More than 200 million young women around the world have been subjected to this violence.

Unfortunately, there are still 11 states in the U.S. without explicit protection for girls at risk of female genital mutilation.  Over 52,000 women and girls who are at risk of FGM live in the remaining 11 states that do not have state legislation against the practice. Maine is one of them.  

In April 2018, An Act to Prohibit the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation of a Minor (LD 1904) was brought to a vote in the Maine House of Representatives. It failed. Who was sitting in the Speaker’s Chair? Sara Gideon. According to a report in the Free Beacon, Gideon has twice leveraged support to kill anti-FGM legislation.

It is estimated that over 1,500 young women and girls in Maine are at risk of this practice. There are no anti-FGM laws on the books in Maine and politicians like Gideon don’t want to address it for fear of offending some immigrant communities with traditions of practicing this atrocious act.

According to her campaign website, “Speaker Sara Gideon strongly supports a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions and shape her own future.” Unless you are a young woman living with the risk of your genitals being cut. If that’s the case, don’t expect protection from Sara Gideon.

Female genital mutilation is violence against women at its worst. Sara Gideon, the so-called “Champion of Women’s Rights” should stop ignoring some of the most vulnerable Mainers and make sure they are safe.