New York state plans to mount a public awareness campaign about the risks and consequences of female genital mutilation, a practice that health officials say puts thousands of girls and young women in New York at risk.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this month directing state health officials to conduct educational and outreach programs about the "physical, sexual and psychological" effects of the procedure, which is practiced in various cultures around the world.
The procedure carries the likelihood of life-long physical and psychological damage.
While the practice is illegal, official estimates indicate that more than 7,500 girls and young women in New York are at risk of having the procedure, either within the state or overseas.
(c) 2015 AP