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THE LOUISIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WHEREAS, female genital mutilation is not a cultural issue, but is an issue of the abuse of children and women's basic human rights to good health; and
WHEREAS, female genital mutilation may cause numerous physical complications, including hemorrhage and severe pain, which can ultimately cause shock and even death; and
WHEREAS, female genital mutilation may also cause long-term complications resulting from scarring and interference with the drainage of urine and menstrual blood, such as chronic pelvic infection, which may cause pelvic back pain, dysmenorrhea, infertility, chronic urinary tract infections, urinary stones, or kidney damage; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Fauziya Kasinga, an eighteen-year-old young woman, fled her homeland of Togo to escape mutilation and has been in a York County, New York jail for more than a year waiting for immigration officials and judges to decide whether to grant her plea for refuge; and
WHEREAS, many young women from around the world will continue to flee their countries and face imprisonment before succumbing to the painful and inhumane custom of female genital mutilation; and
WHEREAS, the President and Congress may utilize the influence of the United States in the relationships of this nation with foreign countries to spare many nonconsenting women and young girls the inhumane and dangerous procedures associated with the custom or ritual of female genital mutialtion or imprisonment for refusing such mutilation.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of Luisiana does hereby urge and request the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the United States of America, and the Congress of the United States of America to utilize the influence of the United States in international relations to end the custom or ritual of female genital mutilation in those countries where such procedures are presently practiced upon individuals who choose not to undergo such procedures and to grant political asylum to individuals who flee their homelands to escape the custom or ritual.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the Honorable Bill Clinton, Present of the United States of America, to the presiding officers of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States of America, and to each member of the Louisiana congressional delegation.