Doctors or other individuals who perform female genital mutilation on young girls in Michigan could face up to 15 years in prison under legislation unanimously approved Wednesday by the state Senate.

The bills would toughen a five-year federal penalty roughly one month after two suburban Detroit doctors and a spouse were criminally charged for allegedly cutting 7-year-old girls and conspiring to cover up the crime. It was the first federal indictment of its kind in the country.

The legislation would make clear that the cultural practice — which experts say serves no legitimate medical purpose — is "not welcome in Michigan," said Sen. Margaret O'Brien, R-Portage, who sponsored one of the measures.

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