Senate Bill No. 154
(By Senators Wooton, Buckalew, Kimble, Deem, White, Bowman,
Jackson, Snyder, Macnaughtan, Sharpe, Kessler, Ross, Dittmar,
Walker, Sprouse, Schoonover, Love, Ball, Hunter, McKenzie, Boley,
Minear, Dugan, Scott, Anderson, Tomblin, Mr. President, Chafin and
[Introduced January 15, 1998; referred
to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend article eight-d, chapter sixty-one of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
three-a, relating to criminal child abuse; prohibiting the
practice of female genital mutilation; and penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article eight-d, chapter sixty-one of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section three- a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8D. CHILD ABUSE.
§61-8D-3a. Female genital mutilation; penalties; definitions.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this
section, a person commits child abuse if such person circumcises,
excises or infibulates, in whole or in part, the labia majora,
labia minora or clitoris of a female under the age of eighteen or
if a parent, guardian or custodian of a female under the age of
eighteen allows the circumcision, excision or infibulation, in
whole or in part, of such child's labia majora, labia minora or
clitora. Any person who commits a violation of this section shall
be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than two
nor more than ten years and fined not less than one thousand
dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.
(b) A surgical procedure is not a violation of this section if
(1) Is necessary to preserve the health of the child on whom
it is performed and is performed by a licensed medical professional
authorized to practice medicine in this state; or
(2) The procedure is performed on a child who is in labor or
has just given birth and is performed for legitimate medical
purposes connected with that labor or birth by a licensed medical
professional authorized to practice medicine in this state.
(c) Belief that the conduct described in subsection (a) of
this section is required as a matter of custom, ritual, standard practice or consent to the procedure by the child on whom it is
performed or by the child's parent, guardian or custodian shall not
be a defense.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to criminalize the
practice of female genital mutilation in any form.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.)