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Michigan GOP propose bill making medicalized gender transition of minors a felony

A bill has been introduced by Republicans in Michigan that would make the medicalized gender transitions of minors first-degree child abuse punishable by up to life imprisonment.

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Mia Ashton Montreal QC
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A bill has been introduced by Republicans in Michigan that would make the medicalized gender transitions of minors first-degree child abuse punishable by up to life imprisonment.

Under the proposed House Bill 6454, a person would be found guilty of child abuse in the first degree if "the person knowingly or intentionally consents to, obtains, or assists with a gender transition procedure for a child."

This would include parents or guardians, and physicians or other licensed medical professionals, and would be punishable by "imprisonment for life or any term of years."

The bill was introduced by GOP Reps. Steve Marino, Beau LaFave, Ryan Berman, Steve Carra, and Luke Meerman. 

Gender transition procedure is defined in the bill as "any procedure related to gender transition" including the "administration of puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones" or "genital or nongenital gender reassignment surgery."

"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 told The Hill.

In his statement to The Hill, LaFave also said he is optimistic that most Republicans in the state legislature will support the bill, and that he believes most Michigan Democrats would also agree with the measure but that they cannot publicly say so without damaging their political career.

Should the bill pass, Michigan would join Alabama, Arkansas, and Arizona in taking action to end the practice of medically altering the bodies of children who believe themselves to be transgender. 

In April 2021, Arkansas became the first state to ban the medical transition of minors; however, a legal challenge in July 2021, US District Judge Jay Moody blocked the bill from taking effect until this month, according to The Epoch Times.

Judge Moody will begin hearing the case on Oct. 17 in a trial that is expected to last two weeks.

Alabama introduced a similar bill in April 2022 which was also blocked by a legal challenge, whereas Arizona passed a bill banning "gender-affirming" surgeries for minors in September.

At the federal level, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced the Protect Children’s Innocence Act, which would make transitioning minors who are not legally old enough to get a tattoo or consent to sex a Class C felony across the US This would come with a penalty of up to 25 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

Around the world, several other nations have now backtracked on medically transitioning children due to the lack of quality evidence to support it. Sweden and Finland have halted the practice and now only allow puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to be administered to minors under the strictest of clinical trial settings, and the controversial Tavistock gender clinic in England will close its doors in early 2023 after an independent review of its services found the clinic to be not a safe or viable option for children.

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