Idaho must provide sex reassignment surgery to transgender inmate

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BOISE, Idaho (CNN) – The state of Idaho must provide gender confirmation surgery to an inmate housed at the Department of Corrections.

That’s the ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Adree Edmo will be the first transgender inmate in the U.S. to undergo surgery due to the court order.

However, Gov. Brad Little said the state is planning to take this case to the Supreme Court.

The court’s decision centers around the Eighth Amendment, whether denying gender confirmation surgery is cruel and unusual punishment. It’s something Edmo’s attorneys say would be, given her gender dysphoria.

Six on Your Side previously spoke with one of Edmo’s attorneys about the case when a federal appeals court ruled that the Idaho Department of Correction does not have to provide the surgery until stated otherwise.

“We provided the court with some very, very high-quality expert testimony about the care treatment necessary for her gender dysphoria, which is severe, and the medically-necessary treatment is gender confirmation surgery,” said Attorney Deborah Ferguson.

A panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit agreed with the decision made by a federal judge last December, that denying the surgery is cruel and unusual punishment.

However, it doesn’t necessarily end here.

Gov. Little responded to the ruling, stating in part:

“The court’s decision is extremely disappointing. The hardworking taxpayers of Idaho should not be forced to pay for a convicted sex offender’s gender reassignment surgery when it is contrary to the medical opinions of the treating physician and multiple mental health professionals. I intend to appeal this decision to the U.S Supreme Court.”


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