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Michigan governor OKs criminal penalties for genital mutilation

LANSING, Mich. — Starting in October, doctors and parents involved in female genital mutilation will face up to 15 years in prison under new Michigan laws.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation Tuesday, making Michigan the 26th state to ban the practice that is outlawed in the U.S. but is common for girls in some parts of the world.

Female circumcision or cutting already is a federal crime, punishable by five years in prison.

The Michigan laws also require increased public education and lengthen the statutes of limitations to file charges and lawsuits.

Six people from an India-based Muslim sect called Dawoodi Bohra have been charged in a genital mutilation case involving six girls at a suburban Detroit clinic. Two of the alleged victims are from Minnesota and four are from Michigan.

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