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(CNN) — In many cases it’s a woman that grips the blade — maybe clean, maybe dirty — that cuts a girl’s path to womanhood.Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni wants to ban the practice of female circumcision in his country.

The cutter, who works for a fee, can pursue any number of surgical options for the young girl’s rite of passage. She can remove the girl’s clitoris entirely, narrow her vagina with stitches, or make other excisions of the girl’s genitalia.

A traditional symbol of a child’s maturity to womanhood, the girl undergoes a circumcision. Often without an anesthetic, she feels every slice.

And sometimes girls that become women under the knife die under it, too.

In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni wants to outlaw female circumcision, and those that continue to perform the bloody practice would face the death penalty if a girl dies as a result of the procedure, Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi told CNN Wednesday.

“If a girl dies during circumcision that would be murder,” Mirundi said. “The punishment for murder in Uganda is death. You will be hanged.”

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