Court Rules State of Idaho Must Provide Sex Reassignment Surgery for Transgender Inmate

On Friday a federal appeals could ruled that the state of Idaho must provide sex reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate with severe gender dysphoria.

It was ruled by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that depriving the transgender inmate of this procedure is a form of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Republican Governor Brad Little has vowed to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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According to court documents, Adree Edmo has repeatedly tried to inflict harm on herself and has tried to castrate herself with a razor blade two times. Edmo was featured on the Boise State Public Radio podcast “Locked.”

The governor of Idaho described the ruling as “extremely disappointing and also stated that the state “cannot divert critical public dollars away from the higher priorities of keeping the public safe and rehabilitating offenders.”

More on the story from NBC News:

Amy Whelan, a senior staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, called Little’s promise to appeal the case to the high court a “very disappointing and reprehensible reaction by the state.”

Whelan, one of the attorneys representing Edmo, added that the NCLR took the case because of its focus on the most marginalized of the LGBTQ community and because “medical care is essential for transgender people.”

Whelan called Edmo’s case “very, very severe gender dysphoria,” as evidenced by her repeated attempts to take surgical action on her own body.

“There are decades of Eighth Amendment precedent by the U.S. Supreme Court, where the court repeatedly has found that when you’re assessing whether prison officials are deliberately indifferent — which is the legal standard — with regard to the provision of medical care in prison, that you look to the consensus of the medical community,” Whelan explained.

“There is an extremely robust medical consensus by both the medical and mental health communities that these procedures are part of the standard of care,” she said of gender confirmation surgery for patients diagnosed with severe gender dysphoria,” adding that “foreseeable pain and suffering will result if people do not receive the care that they need.”

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