SB1164-HB 1364 Bill Summary



This bill expands the offense of female genital mutilation, creates a civil cause of action for victims of female genital mutilation, and expands offenses related to child abuse to include female genital mutilation, as discussed below.

Under present law, it is a Class D felony to knowingly mutilate female genitalia, unless the procedure is medically needed. "Mutilation" consists of circumcising, excising or infibulating, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of another. Consent to the procedure by a minor on whom it is performed or by the minor's parent is not a defense to a violation.

This bill expands the procedures considered to be "mutilation," as detailed in this bill, including any harmful procedure to the genitalia such as pricking, piercing, or scraping. This bill also creates the Class D felonies of:

(1) Knowingly facilitating the mutilation of a female. Under this bill, to facilitate the mutilation of a female means raising, soliciting, collecting, or providing material support or resources with intent that such will be used, in whole or in part, to plan, prepare, carry out, or aid in any act of female genital mutilation or hindering the prosecution of an act of female genital mutilation, or the concealing of an act of female genital mutilation; and
(2) Knowingly transporting or facilitating the transportation of a female for the purpose of mutilation.

This bill adds that it will not be a defense to a violation that a female genital mutilation procedure is:

(1) Required as a matter of belief, custom, or ritual; or
(2) Consented to by any minor on whom the procedure is performed.

Present law provides medical-necessity exceptions to the offense when a licensed physician performs the procedure. This bill removes the specification that the performance of the medically necessary procedure be by a licensed physician.

Under this bill, in addition to the criminal penalty for a violation, the professional license or certification of any physician, physician-in-training, certified nurse or midwife, or any other medical professional who performs, participates in, or facilitates a female genital mutilation will be permanently revoked by the applicable licensing board.

Under this bill, all property, including money, used in the course of, intended for use in the course of, derived from, or realized through conduct in violation of this bill is subject to civil forfeiture.

Under present law, a prosecution for a Class D felony must, generally, begin within four years of the offense. This bill extends the statute of limitations for female genital mutilation against a minor to no later than 25 years from the date the victim becomes 18. 

Civil remedies, causes of action, and procedures under this bill include:

(1) An adult victim of female genital mutilation may, within five years, bring a civil action against a person who knowingly: mutilated or attempted to mutilate the victim; facilitated the victim's mutilation; or transported or facilitated the victim's transportation outside of this state for the purpose of mutilation. The court may award two times the amount of damages sustained. These damages include, but are not limited to, damages or loss due to pain, suffering inconvenience, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, loss of society and companionship, and loss of consortium. A court may award reasonable attorney's fees and costs;
(2) A victim who was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense may file an action any time before the victim reaches the age of 21 or within five years of the offense, whichever is later. The court may award the same damages provided above in (1);
(3) A person who knowingly commits an offense under this bill will be jointly and severally liable for all damages, attorney's fees, and costs awarded by a court; and
(3) If a criminal prosecution is pending for a violation, the statute of limitations will be suspended during the pendency of such prosecution.

This bill also expands the following offenses to include female genital mutilation:

(1) Child abuse or child neglect; and
(2) Aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect or aggravated child endangerment. 

Under present law, the offense listed in (1) above is a Class A misdemeanor; provided, that if the abused or neglected child is eight years of age or less, the penalty is a Class E felony. The offense listed in (2) above is a Class B felony. If the child is eight years of age or less, or is vulnerable because the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or suffers from a physical disability, that offense is a Class A felony.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign-up for TN Eagle Forum's Daily Updates!