Bill banning female genital mutilation passes

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Legislation to ban female genital mutilation in Kentucky is headed to the governor’s desk.

The Senate voted 31-0 for the measure, known as Senate Bill 72, as amended in the House of Representatives. The House amendment placed an emergency clause in the bill, meaning it becomes effective immediately upon being signed into law rather than 90 days after adjournment.

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The World Health Organization states that female genital mutilation, often referred to as FGM, includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female organs for non-medical reasons. It is mostly carried out on young girls.

Senate Republican Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams of Louisville, a primary sponsor of the bill, previously testified that Kentucky is among 15 states where FGM is still legal. A federal ban that had been in place for more than two decades was found unconstitutional in 2018.

SB 72 would make performing FGMs on minors a felony, ban trafficking girls across state lines for FGMs and strip the medical licenses from providers convicted of the practice. The bill would, among other things, classify FGM in state statutes as a form of child abuse and provide outreach to communities and professionals likely to encounter the practice.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.