I want to support and express my gratitude to Heather Sirocki of Scarborough, the Republican representative in Maine House District 28, who has become an advocate for young girls against the practice of female genital mutilation, also known as “female circumcision.”

We need to unite to protect and help the over 500,000 women and girls estimated to be at risk in this country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I am surprised at the lack of outrage and concern over this needless practice. Women have been fighting for centuries for their rights.

What is the purpose for this? It creates difficulty in a woman’s normal functioning, makes her prone to infection and causes difficulty in giving birth, not to mention the psychological scars of abuse, mutilation and pain. Many children have died after this procedure.

Children are powerless over what happens to them, and that is why we enact laws to protect them. We, as Mainers, must write and protect these children by supporting proposals like L.D. 745, a bill sponsored by Rep. Sirocki that would have made this practice a felony crime in Maine. We must protect these children from enduring such harm.

Heather, thank you and keep fighting. Together we need to get this law passed.

Barbara Johnson

Old Orchard Beach