Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative Family Research Council (FRC), on Thursday criticized a new California policy allowing transgender inmates to obtain gender affirmation surgery.

California is the first state to implement such guidelines.

The policy change comes just months after the state settled a lawsuit filed by Shiloh Quine, a 56-year-old transgender woman. Quine, who is serving a life sentence for murder, has been on hormone therapy since 2009 and has attempted suicide multiple times. The settlement clears the way for Quine to become the first transgender person to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in any state prison system that was based on medical diagnoses.

Perkins described the policy change on his Washington Watch radio policy as “rewarding people who don't just break the state's laws but nature's too.”

“I can assure you that [the number of incarcerated transgender people is] about to be more, once they know that they can get free surgery.”

“With a price tag of anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 for these reassignment surgeries,” Perkins added, “I think there's no shortage of people that may want to sign up [to go to prison].”

Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the new policy was about ensuring “transgender people in prison can access life-saving care when they need it.”