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PHOENIX -- A committee of the Arizona Legislature approved a proposal that would outlaw female genital mutilation that's known as female circumcision.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-1 on Monday to endorse the bill by Republican Sen. Judy Burges of Sun City West.

The proposal would bar genital mutilation on girls under 18 years old and would make a first-time violation punishable by five to 14 years in prison and a minimum $25,000 fine.

The bill also would bar the defense that such procedures were done with the consent of the girl or her parents.

Burges says female genital mutilation is a problem that's beginning to appear in the United States.

Democratic Sen. David Bradley voted for the measure but questioned whether there were already laws that would address female genital mutilation.

Associated Press,

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