Your Child’s Gender Transition in Mississippi Could Lead To Your Arrest
Transgenderism is an extremely controversial topic in Mississippi and across the United States. Everyone seems to have a different opinion, and various states have created very different laws that govern transgender people and their ability to transition to their identified sex. Mississippi is no exception, and this Republican state has taken a firm stance against youths transitioning to a different gender. State legislators have already created laws that would penalize anyone assisting children who want to transition. But what happens if you are the parent of a transgender child? Could you really face legal penalties for helping them? Is it true that you might even face child abuse charges if you help your transgender child in Mississippi? Let’s find out.
The Current Penalties for Assisting Child Transitions in Mississippi
On January 23, 2023, it was reported that the trans community in Mississippi was facing some new bills that would limit the ability of children to seek what advocates call “gender-affirming healthcare.” One bill – House Bill 1125 – has already passed by a margin of 78 to 30. This bill creates penalties for anyone who assists a minor with things like hormone blockers, hormone therapy, or gender reassignment therapy. However, these penalties do not involve criminal charges, and medical professionals who assist with this treatment simply have their licenses revoked.
But other bills would create even stricter penalties for these acts. Perhaps most notably, House Bill 456 would make assisting with gender-affirming treatment tantamount to child abuse. Mississippi’s child abuse laws would be amended to reflect this if the bill passes. House Bill 576 would make any physician who assists with trans treatment vulnerable to legal action. Critics say that the laws are unnecessary because minors do not pursue this surgery in Mississippi. But this assertion has been questioned by many who claim that medical professionals are carrying out these surgeries under the radar.
What Counts as Child Abuse in Mississippi?
Aside from the trans debate, it is important to understand that the definition of child abuse in Mississippi is very broad. Anything that puts children in danger or exposes them to suffering is considered child abuse. Child abuse can be divided into four main categories:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
Felony child abuse is punishable by up to life in prison and a minimum of five years. If you abuse your child without torturing them or causing serious injury, you may face between two and 10 years in prison. Any subsequent convictions usually result in life sentences. Condoning child abuse can lead to one year in prison. Child endangerment can result in up to 10 years in prison and can be increased to 20 years if the endangerment results in serious harm to the child. You can even face penalties of up to one year in jail if you fail to report child abuse after becoming aware of it.
Will the Bill Pass?
As you can see, the proposed amendments to Mississippi’s child abuse laws would result in serious penalties for anyone assisting trans youth with their gender-affirming healthcare. It would be difficult to carry out this treatment in secret, as anyone who became aware of the child’s transition would be legally required to report it to the authorities – putting both the parents and any medical professionals at risk of criminal charges.
Parents could potentially spend the rest of their lives in prison for allowing or condoning this behavior. Due to this extreme proposed change in Mississippi’s laws, it is unclear whether the bill will pass. Even Republicans who are passionate about this subject might think that this goes too far. That said, the previous bill passed with an overwhelming majority across party lines, so there is definitely a chance that this could happen. Even a lone Democrat voted in favor of the previous bill.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney in Mississippi?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Mississippi, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Over the years, we have helped numerous individuals facing charges. We know that facing child abuse charges as a parent can be especially daunting – especially if you had no idea you were doing anything wrong. Child abuse is not just a criminal offense – it is an insult to your parenting abilities and a potential source of shame. With our help, you can clear your name and show your community that these accusations are completely unfounded. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective defense strategy.