Texas Governor Greg Abbott waded into problematic territory when he called gender-affirming care for transgender minors “mutilation” and “child abuse.” His remarks generated lots of coverage and controversy, as he presumably knew they would. The irresponsible and incorrect use of the term “mutilation” takes attention away from the actual, serious problem of mutilation and cutting in the United States today.
Worldwide, more than 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting. But it’s not just a foreign problem. More than half a million women and girls are either at risk or have undergone FGM/C in the U.S, including 51,000 in Washington, D.C. The U.S. must enact stronger legislation against the practice, while empowering and protecting those who have been subjected to FGM/C.