Court rules Idaho must provide surgery to transgender inmate

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state of Idaho must provide gender confirmation surgery to an inmate housed at the department of corrections, KIVI reports.

The ruling means that Adree Edmo will be the first transgender inmate in the country to receive the surgery specifically because of a court order, but Governor Little says the state is planning to take this case to the Supreme Court of the United States.

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

“What it really comes down to is … is this medically necessary care treatment,” said Deborah Ferguson, an attorney.

A few months back the federal appeals court ruled 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,” Ferguson said.

A panel of judges from the ninth circuit agreed with the decision made by a federal judge last December which said denying the surgery is cruel and unusual punishment.

However, it doesn’t necessarily end here.

Governor Brad 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 offenders 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.”

The department of corrections said they have nothing to add beyond what governor little said in his statement.

Edmo is currently housed in a men’s prison south of Boise.

Edmo is also currently serving a sentence of three to ten years for sexual abuse of a child under 16 years of age.

The sentence will be satisfied on July 3, 2021.

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