Michigan lawmakers have introduced legislation to classify allowing a minor to undergo gender transition procedures as first-degree child abuse.
House Bill 6454 was introduced on Tuesday by five Republican lawmakers — state Reps. Beau LaFave, Ryan Berman, Steve Carra, Luke Meerman and Steve Marino.
The legislation states that a person — meaning any parent, guardian, physician or any other licensed medical professional — could be found guilty of first-degree child abuse if they “knowingly or intentionally consents to, obtains, or assists with a gender transition procedure for a child.”
A person who is convicted for first-degree child abuse could face a life sentence.
According to reporting from The Hill, LaFave believes that it is “logically incoherent” to give children puberty blockers or gender transition surgeries when they can’t even consent to sex and are legally prohibited from buying certain items.
“People are abusing these children. The idea that we would be making potentially life-altering changes to 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-old kids when it is illegal for them to have sex is insane,” LaFave stated. “I mean, they’re not responsible enough to smoke a cigarette until they’re 21.”
“The idea that we would be making potentially life-altering changes to 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-old kids when it is illegal for them to have sex is insane. I mean, they’re not ‘responsible enough’ to smoke a cigarette until they’re 21.”https://t.co/xRyW5H0EQ1
— Beau M. LaFave (@BeauMattLaFave) October 13, 2022
The state representative also expressed optimism regarding the legislation. LaFave believes that his Republican colleagues will support the bill, and even some Democrat colleagues may agree with the content of the bill — though he acknowledged that they may be hesitant to express their support publicly.
Republicans hold a three-seat advantage in the Michigan state house.
If the legislation passes, Michigan will become the second state to make providing gender transition procedures to minors a felony. Alabama passed a similar law in April — which outlawed “irreversible gender reassignment surgery” such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy for minors — though a federal judge blocked the law from being enforced in May.
Arkansas and Arizona have also passed laws banning certain gender transition procedures for minors, though they have not made it a felony to provide such care.