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Lawyer says U.S. agrees to pay for Chelsea Manning’s gender transition surgery

September 14, 2016

Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence officer who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified government documents to WikiLeaks, has been told by Army officials that she will be provided with gender transition surgery, according to Manning’s lawyer. Manning, who last year was also found guilty of possessing contraband that included a magazine with Caitlyn Jenner on the cover, said she was “relieved” that the military was granting her access to the procedure. “I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing … This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me,” said Manning in a statement. “I hope this sets a precedent for the thousands of trans people behind me hoping they will be given the treatment they need.”

Manning’s lawyer, Chase Strangio, said that the military determined that Manning qualified for the Department of Defense’s instruction for “In-Service Transition,” and that she had been shown treatment plans that included requisite information about the procedure. Strangio said that Manning was also told that her longstanding request to grow her hair would continue to be denied until after she received the surgery.

In response to the decision, Manning agreed to drop a hunger strike that she began on September 9. Manning’s lawyer added, however, that they would continue to litigate on the the government’s refusal to allow her to grow her hair and work to see that charges relating to Manning’s suicide attempt earlier this summer are dropped. A government hearing relating to Manning’s suicide attempt is scheduled for September 20.

No U.S. prisoner has ever received gender transition surgery. Following a settlement in a California case brought by the Transgender Law Center on behalf of Shiloh Quine, the first-ever such procedure is set to be performed this fall.

Read the full story at Buzzfeed.


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