A federal judge has ordered Idaho to
provide gender confirmation surgery to a transgender inmate.
Adree Edmo is being held in a men's
prison, despite living as a woman for years.
According to the
AP, Edmo is on track to becoming the first inmate in the Idaho
Department of Correction's custody to undergo such a procedure.
U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn
Winmill said that withholding the surgery violates the U.S.
“For more than forty years, the
Supreme Court has consistently held that consciously ignoring a
prisoner's serious medical needs amounts to cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment,” Winmill wrote in
Edmo is represented by the National
Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
“I hope that this makes clear to IDOC
and also to prison systems around the country that they can't deny
medically necessary care to transgender prisoners – that is a
requirement under our constitution,” said NCLR attorney Amy Whelan.
“They need to start evaluating people appropriately, and providing
care to them.”
According to the lawsuit, Edmo was
denied parole for presenting herself as female. Edmo testified that
in 2015, she attempted to castrate herself using a disposable razor
blade. She removed one testicle during a second attempt in 2016.
The testicle was repaired at a nearby hospital.
Prison officials have not said whether
they will appeal the ruling.