Lawmaker plans fresh push against female genital mutilation

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota lawmaker plans a fresh push next year to strengthen a state law against female genital mutilation.

Rep. Mary Franson announced her plan Monday after a federal judge in Detroit last week declared the federal law unconstitutional. The judge ruled that Congress lacks the authority to regulate the practice, but that states can. The judge dismissed criminal charges against a doctor accused of cutting nine girls from three states, including Minnesota.

Franson, an Alexandria Republican, says the ruling underscores the need for her bill, which passed the House 124-4 in 2017, but never got a vote or hearing in the Senate.

Minnesota law makes it a felony for anyone to perform the procedure, but doesn’t directly address the actions of parents. Franson’s bill would add specific penalties for parents.

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