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Minnesota moves to charge parents in genital mutilation case

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers are moving to levy harsh penalties on parents who subject their children to genital cutting after a Detroit-area doctor was charged.

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was charged recently with female genital mutilation and other crimes for allegedly performing the procedure on two 7-year-old Minnesota girls. The manager of the clinic and his wife were also indicted.

Prosecutors say the girls were brought to Michigan by their mothers. A Minnesota House panel unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would make it a felony for parents to subject their children to the practice.

Legislators heard a Somali-American woman’s story of being blindfolded and tied down as a young girl to have her genitals cut. Rep. Mary Franson says she wants to send a message that genital mutilation is child abuse.

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