Excerpt:

Opposition from some members of Minnesota's immigrant and refugee communities is slowing the momentum of a bill that would impose stiff penalties for parents involved in cases of female genital mutilation.

Since the bill's near-unanimous passage in the Minnesota House this week, some longtime critics of the ritual have met with senators, lobbied the governor's office and handed out fliers — all to raise alarm about the legislation.

The Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage, a nonprofit called Isuroon and other groups argue that the legislation carries overly harsh punishment and unintended consequences, including the possibility that newcomers from countries where genital cutting is widespread would not seek medical care and other services for their children. They call for a less punitive approach focused on educating parents.


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