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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.

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