Republican lawmakers in Michigan have introduced a new bill that defines “gender transition” procedures for children as first-degree child abuse.
House Bill 6454 seeks to crack down on children being put through life-altering sex-change surgeries and treatments of puberty-blocking drugs.
The legislation states that a person 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.”
The bill defines a “person” as a parent, guardian, physician, or any other licensed medical professional.
Should a person be found guilty of first-degree child abuse, they could be sentenced to life in prison.
The legislation was brought forward Tuesday by five Republican state representatives, including Beau LaFave, Ryan Berman, Steve Carra, Luke Meerman, and Steve Marino.
According to the Hill, LaFave believes it is “logically incoherent” to provide puberty blockers or conduct gender transition surgeries for children when they cannot even consent to sex or are legally prohibited from purchasing certain items.
“People are abusing these children,” he said.
“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.”
LaFave is optimistic that his Republican colleagues will support the legislation.
He even believes that some of his Democrat colleagues agree with the bill’s content but acknowledged they would be hesitant to support it publicly.
The Michigan Republican Party holds a three-seat advantage in the state house.
Similar legislation was passed in Alabama this year that makes it a felony to provide puberty blockers and other hormone treatments to children under the age of 19.
Arizona has also passed legislation prohibiting “irreversible gender reassignment surgery” for those under 18, regardless of whether parents consent.
However, it is not considered a felony if an individual is found guilty of violating the measure.