Idaho Ordered To Pay For Inmate Transgender Surgery
Idaho's US District court has ordered the Gem State to pay for a transgendered male inmate to become a woman. Adree Edmo is serving time after being convicted of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16.The 31 year old inmate was born a man, but lived as a woman reports the Idaho State Journal. Edmo lived as a woman wearing women's clothes before being arrested. Once imprisoned, Edmo was said to be suffering from Gender Dysphoria.
"People with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender," is the American Psychiatric Association definition of gender dysphoria.
“Many transgender individuals are comfortable living with their gender role, expression and identity without surgery,” wrote U.S. District Judge Lynn B. Winmill in the order. “For others, however, gender confirmation surgery ... is the only effective treatment.”
Edmo would only be the second prisoner to have the surgery if the state of Idaho does not appeal the decision. According to the Washington Post, there are 30 Idaho inmates with the same condition.
“I think the thing that makes this case so important is that this is a procedure that is necessary for some transgender inmates, and in fact is lifesaving care, but it’s almost universally denied and banned by prisons across the country,”Amy Whalen, an attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which represented Edmo in the lawsuit said. “There is no state that I’m aware of that has ever provided the surgery without being ordered by a court to do so.”
Winmill also noted in her statement that Corizon, the Brentwood, Tennessee-based private company that handles medical care for inmates in Idaho and 21 other states, has never provided gender-confirmation surgery at any of its facilities in the United States.
Idaho has six months to comply with the U.S. Districts ruling. No word on whether the state of Idaho will appeal the decision.