Michigan bill seeks to define gender-affirming care for minors as first-degree child abuse

State Republican lawmakers in Michigan have introduced a bill that would amend the state’s penal code to classify gender-affirming health care for transgender youth as first-degree child abuse.

According to the bill filed Tuesday, a person would be found guilty of first-degree child abuse — punishable by life imprisonment — if they “knowingly or intentionally” cause serious physical or mental harm to a child, including by assisting a child obtain a “gender transition procedure.”

The bill was introduced by state Reps. Ryan Berman, Steve Carra, Luke Meerman, Beau LaFave and Steve Marino, who are all Republicans.

The measure defines a “person” in this case as the child’s parent or guardian or a licensed medical professional.

LaFave in a Wednesday phone call with The Hill said he believes providing gender-affirming prescription medications and surgical procedures to youth who are not legally able to consent to having sex is “logically incoherent.”

“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 said he’s optimistic most Republicans in the state legislature will back the measure. He added that he believes most Michigan Democrats are in ideological agreement with him and the bill’s co-sponsors but would risk damaging their political careers if they supported the measure publicly.


R&I – FS