Trans teens could face forced detransition and parents jailed under horrific Michigan bill

A person holds up a sign reading 'trans healthcare saves lives'

Republican lawmakers in Michigan have introduced a “disastrous” bill that would classify gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth as first-degree child abuse. 

House Bill 6454, filed Tuesday (11 October), would amend Michigan’s definition of first-degree child abuse to include anyone who “knowingly or intentionally consents to, obtains or assists” in proving gender-affirming care – such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy or surgeries – to a trans child. 

The measure proposed a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for the parents, guardians or licensed medical professionals that assist in providing such care. 

Republican state representative Beau LaFave told The Hill that he believed it’s “logically incoherent” to provide gender-affirming healthcare to some young people when it is “illegal for them to have sex”. 

He claimed people are “abusing” trans youth by supporting them and helping them access gender-affirming medical care. 

However, LaFave’s comments ignore the reality that such healthcare has been described by researchers as ‘life-saving’. 

Study after study has shown that trans youth who have access to gender-affirming healthcare are significantly less likely to experience depression and anxiety and consider suicide than those who are barred from such treatments. 

In response to the proposed bill, Equality Michigan said the bill would be “disastrous” for trans youth and their families in the state. 

“Gender-affirming care is medically necessary and life-saving care for transgender youth,” Erin Knott, executive director of Equality Michigan, said. 

Knott continued: “Medical decisions belong to trans youth, their parents, and their doctors. 

“Unfortunately, the Michigan House of Representatives are trying to come between youth and the care they need. 

“House Bill 6454 is a reckless bill that, if passed, will have dangerous effects on transgender youth.” 

If passed into law, Michigan would become the second state in the US to make it a felony to provide gender-affirming care to minors. 

Alabama banned such treatment in legislation signed into law by governor Kay Ivey in April. A federal judge blocked the state from enforcing the cruel law in May after parents and doctors of trans youth launched a fierce legal battle. 

Arkansas and Arizona have also enacted laws that attacked gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

In September, Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene launched a bid to criminalise trans youth healthcare at a federal level. The anti-LGBTQ+ congresswoman’s bill would place “restrictions on the provision of gender-affirming care” and prohibit the “use of federal funds” for such care or for “health insurance that covers such care”.