Washington, D.C. May 1, 2019 — Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after the House filed a motion to intervene in a court case to take over from the Department of Justice the defense of a long-standing federal criminal statute making female genital mutilation, of which more than 500,000 women and girls are at risk of or have been subject to in the United States, a crime:

“Female genital mutilation is an extreme form of gender-based violence that poses a grave public health risk.  That 200 million women and girls worldwide have been subjected to this horrific act is a challenge to the conscience of the world.

“The Trump Administration’s sudden refusal to advance legal arguments to defend a long-standing federal statute criminalizing this horrific act disrespects the health and futures of vulnerable women and girls.

“Once again, the House is called upon to defend the constitutionality of a duly enacted law and to protect people’s lives.”