The American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday that for the U.S. Army to deny hormone therapy to Chelsea Manning, the convicted private formerly known as Bradley, “raises serious constitutional concerns” and may be in violation of the Eigth Amendment.
The ACLU posted its response to the Army on its website:
In response to Chelsea Manning’s disclosure that she is female, has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and will be seeking hormone therapy as a part of her transition during her incarceration, public statements by military officials that the Army does not provide hormone therapy to treat gender dysphoria raise serious constitutional concerns. Gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition in which a person’s gender identity does not correspond to his or her assigned sex at birth, and hormone therapy is part of the accepted standards of care for this condition. Without the necessary treatment, gender dysphoria can cause severe psychological distress, including anxiety and suicide. When the government holds individuals in its custody, it must provide them with medically necessary care.
The official policy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and most state agencies is to provide medically necessary care for the treatment of gender dysphoria, and courts have consistently found that denying such care to prisoners based on blanket exclusions violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.
The ACLU stands with Chelsea Manning, and will support Ms. Manning’s pursuit of appropriate healthcare and lawful treatment while at Fort Leavenworth.