Republican lawmakers in Michigan recently introduced legislation that would outlaw medical procedures for gender reassignment of transgender minors and consider it first-degree child abuse.
The proposal comes just days before the nation's first trial over a state's ban on such care begins this week.
Child abuse in the first degree can lead up to life imprisonment or any term of years, according to the legislation, which was filed on Oct. 11. Republican state Reps. Beau LaFave, Ryan Berman, Steve Carra, Luke Meerman, and Steve Marino introduced the measure.
The lawmaker said he’s optimistic that most Republicans in the state legislature will support the measure. If passed, the state would become the second in the nation to make it a felony to provide such care to minors.
State ActionsThe proposal comes a week before the nation’s first trial over state restrictions on gender-related care for children takes place in Arkansas.
Arkansas was the first state to prohibit physicians and health care professionals from providing gender transition procedures to youth or referring them to other health care professionals for the procedures.
The state doesn't see it as a serious crime punishable by imprisonment in excess of one year. Medical providers who violate the law could face disciplinary actions from the appropriate licensing entity or disciplinary review board.
However, the law, targeting transgender treatments for minors, also faced an immediate court challenge in July 2021, as U.S. District Judge Jay Moody temporarily blocked it from taking effect for more than a year.
On Oct. 17, Moody began hearing testimony and evidence for the case. The families of four transgender youths and two doctors who provided gender-affirming care previously claimed that the legislation was unconstitutional and undermined the rights of transgender youth, parents, and doctors. But advocates of the law have argued that the prohibition is within the state’s authority to regulate medical practices.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.