Michigan imposes prison term for female genital mutilation

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Doctors and parents involved in female genital mutilation will face up to 15 years in prison under new Michigan laws.

Female circumcision or cutting is already a federal crime punishable by five years in prison. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation on Tuesday that creates a state crime with harsher penalties.

The legislation was proposed after six people from an India-based Muslim sect called Dawoodi Bohra were charged in a genital mutilation case involving six girls at a suburban Detroit clinic. Two of the girls are from Minnesota, and four are from Michigan.

Michigan is the 26th state to officially ban the practice, which is common in some parts of the world.

The new laws also require increased public education and lengthen the statutes of limitations to file charges and lawsuits.

The laws take effect in October.

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