Bill Making Gender Transitions First-Degree Child Abuse Introduced by Michigan Republicans

The bill would make gender transitions “a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years.”

  • Michigan Republican Representatives Ryan Berman, Steve Carra, Luke Meerman, Beau LaFave, and Steve Marino introduced a bill defining gender transitions, hormone treatments, and the administration of puberty blockers for minors as child abuse.
  • Being guilty of first-degree child abuse applies to anyone who “knowingly or intentionally causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child,” including those who consent, obtain, or assist “with a gender transition procedure” for minors.
  • Representative LaFave spoke with The Hill, saying that the idea of distributing medications and surgical alterations to minors lacking legal consent is “logically incoherent.”
  • “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,” he added.
  • The “person” causing harm to the child and recipient of legal consequences includes the “child’s parent or guardian or any other person who cares for, has custody of, has authority over a child regardless of the length of time that a child is cared for, in the custody of, or subject to the authority of that person, or a physician or other licensed medical professional.”
  • The individual will also face prosecution if “the person knowingly or intentionally commits an act that is cruel to a child regardless of whether harm results.”
  • The bill defines the qualities of a “gender transition procedure” as any procedure that seeks to “alter or remove physical or anatomical characteristics or features that are typical of an individual’s biological sex” or “instill or create physiological or anatomical characteristics that resemble a sex different from an individual’s biological sex.”
  • These gender transitions may be due to “the administration of puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, or any other substances or like mechanisms,” “reassignment surgery,” or any other method that “cause the development of a child’s biological sex to deviate from his or her biological sex at birth, alter the onset of puberty, or that otherwise alter the typical hormonal ranges of a child from that of his or her biological sex.”
  • Since January 2022, 20 states have introduced bills prohibiting gender-affirming care to varying degrees.
  • These states include: Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and New Hampshire.
  • In passing a law prohibiting gender reassignment surgery for minors, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) said, “This is a decision that will dramatically affect the rest of an individual’s life… Throughout law, children are protected from making irreversible decisions, including buying certain products or participating in activities that can have lifelong health implications.”
  • In August, Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) introduced a federal bill (“Protect Children’s Innocence Act”) that would make performing gender-transition surgeries, administering puberty blockers, and providing hormone therapy a felony, with anyone “knowingly [performing] any gender-affirming care on a minor” receiving up to twenty-five years in prison.