NEW YORK (AP) — A court ordered the U.S. government on Wednesday to reconsider the asylum requests of three women who suffered genital mutilation in Guinea, saying it was "deeply disturbed" their claims were not taken more seriously.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the Board of Immigration Appeals should have presumed the women would face even more harm after undergoing genital mutilation, rather than viewing it as a one-time act.

The three-judge panel said the U.S. government should be required to prove the women would be safe from further persecution in their homeland. It noted instances in which women are repeatedly subjected to genital mutilation and said the women also can face other forms of persecution.