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Michigan Republicans Advance Bill to Make Trans Surgeries on Minors First-Degree Child Abuse

A supporter for the transgender community holds a trans flag in front of counter-protesters to protect attendees from their insults and obscenities at the city's Gay Pride Festival in Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Robin Rayne)

A group of Republican state representatives in Michigan has introduced a bill to classify transgender procedures and surgeries on minors as first-degree child abuse.

If approved, it would be illegal in The Great Lakes State to allow a child to undergo transition surgeries or ingest cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers, according to the text of House Bill No. 6454.

The legislation states the consequences would apply to anyone who “knowingly or intentionally consents to, obtains, or assists with a gender transition procedure for a child.”

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“For purposes of this subdivision only, ‘person’ means a 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,” reads the proposal.

It adds, “Child abuse in the first degree is a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years.”

The bill was introduced Oct. 11 by Michigan state Reps. Ryan Berman, Steve Carra, Luke Meerman, Beau LaFave, and Steve Marino. All five legislators are Republicans.

In a statement to The Hill, LaFave said it’s “logically incoherent” to allow a minor — who cannot even legally consent to sex — to undergo surgeries and therapies that will irrevocably alter their bodies.

“People are abusing these children,” he said. “The idea that we would be making potentially life-altering changes to 11, 12, 13, 14, and 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 believes most of his Republican colleagues back the bill but acknowledged, even though he feels a majority of Democrats in the state agree with him, supporting the GOP-led proposal would jeopardize Democrats’ political futures. Republicans, it should be noted, hold a slim, three-seat majority in the Michigan State House of Representatives.

The Michigan proposal comes as the first trial over a similar law in another state is underway.

As CBN News reported, Arkansas’ ban on transgender surgeries for minors has been temporarily blocked. Initially, when the bill was presented, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) vetoed the legislation, but GOP lawmakers overturned his rejection.

“This is about protecting children,” Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in defense of the Arkansas legislation. “Nothing about this law prohibits someone after the age of 18 from making this decision. What we’re doing in Arkansas is protecting children from life-altering, permanent decisions.”

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