Updated Feb 10, 2014 - 5:17 pm
Panel endorses ban on female genital mutilation
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.