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PHOENIX -- An Arizona House committee has approved a bill outlawing female genital mutilation that's known as female circumcision.

The Committee on Judiciary unanimously approved Senate Bill 1342 on Thursday. The bill barred genital mutilation on girls under 18 and would make a first-time violation and conviction punishable by five to 14 years in prison and a minimum $25,000 fine.

Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Judy Burges of Sun City West said female genital mutilation is a problem that's beginning to appear in the United States.

The Senate approved the bill unanimously last month. It will now go to the House of Representatives.

Associated Press,

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