Excerpt:

House lawmakers voted narrowly on Tuesday to create an education and outreach program aimed at stopping "female genital mutilation" in immigrant communities but stopped short of giving prosecutors additional tools against the practice.

After a lengthy and emotional debate, the House voted 76-71 against creating a new crime of "female genital mutilation" – on top of existing federal and state prohibitions – for a procedure estimated by the United Nations to have been performed on at least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries. Instead, House Democrats supported a version that directs the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to establish outreach and education programs featuring "culturally specific services for communities in the state wherein which female genital mutilation of minors might be practiced."


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