Excerpt:

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday advanced to the full House a bill sponsored by Rep. Dave Trott, R-Birmingham, that would increase the maximum federal penalty for female genital mutilation from five years in prison to 15 years.

The legislation came about after federal prosecutors filed charges in the nation's first case involving two Michigan physicians who allegedly performed the procedure on two 7-year-old girls.

The Stopping Abusive Female Exploitation (SAFE) Act, also sponsored by New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, applies to the cutting of genitals of girls and women younger than age 18, which has been a federal crime since 1996.


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