A Democratic state representative on Monday called for support for a bill to officially outlaw female circumcision in Pennsylvania and to make such acts, called "female genital mutilation," a felony.

"Women who are immigrants are at continued risk of the practice as these cultural beliefs follow them to the United States. ... We cannot stop this unless my legislation is passed into law," PA. state rep. Tom Murt (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) said Monday after announcing the re-introduction of this legislation, which he has been trying to pass since the 2013-14 session. "In 2008, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution about the elimination of this practice, emphasizing the need for concerted action from health care providers and law enforcement to stop this practice."

Female genital mutilation, referred to as FGM and consistent with what some cultures call female circumcision, in general, does not clearly fall within Pennsylvania's assault statutes, said a foundation that lobbies for legislation against FGM.

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