A Chelsea Manning Update!

http://www.chelseamanning.org/featured/chelsea-to-begin-gender-related-medical-care

Chelsea to begin gender-related medical care

February 13, 2015 by the Chelsea Manning Support Network

“It is … concerning that private medical information about Chelsea’s care
was again leaked by government officials despite clear protections in
federal law and the existence of a protective order.”
 –Chase Strangio, ACLU attorney representing Chelsea Manning on gender
related issues


After fighting for years to receive necessary gender-related medical care
from prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea
Manning will finally begin hormone therapy. The Department of Defense’s
approval of Manning’s care comes after Chelsea’s initial request for
treatment in August of 2013 and a subsequent Sept 2014 lawsuit filed in
conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after her
medical needs continued to be ignored.

Manning’s treatment will mark the first time the military has administered
such care, as transgender individuals are currently not allowed to serve.
Since Chelsea cannot be discharged until her 35-year prison sentence is
complete, it is up to the Army to see to her medical well-being while
imprisoned.

Hormone therapy, “is an important first step in Chelsea’s treatment
regimen and one that is in line with the recommendations of all of her
doctors and the basic requirements of the Eighth Amendment,” confirms
Chase Strangio, attorney with the ACLU.  “We are thrilled for Chelsea that
the government has finally agreed to initiate hormone therapy as part of
her treatment plan.”

However, Stangrio notes, “The military continues to refuse to let Chelsea
grow her hair like other female prisoners, a critical part of her
treatment plan that has been recognized by her doctors. The resistance to
meeting Chelsea’s full treatment needs is a reflection of the deeply
entrenched stigma associated with transgender health care… we will keep
fighting for Chelsea’s health needs until she is treated fully and
adequately.”

Chase Strangio, attorney with the ACLU:


“Chelsea has waited years to receive basic medical care that she needs to
treat her gender dysphoria. Since she arrived at the United States
Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in August of 2013, advocating
for her medically necessary health care has been Chelsea’s priority. She
has fought her whole life, and particularly over the course of the past
few years, to be seen and affirmed as who she is–as Chelsea. We are
thrilled for Chelsea that the government has finally agreed to initiate
hormone therapy as part of her treatment plan. This is an important first
step in Chelsea’s treatment regimen and one that is in line with the
recommendations of all of her doctors and the basic requirements of the
Eighth Amendment. But the delay in treatment came with a significant cost
to Chelsea and her mental health and we are hopeful that the government
continues to meet Chelsea’s medical needs as is its obligation under the
Constitution so that those harms may be mitigated.

Meanwhile the fight continues. The military continues to refuse to let
Chelsea grow her hair like other female prisoners, a critical part of her
treatment plan that has been recognized by her doctors. The resistance to
meeting Chelsea’s full treatment needs is a reflection of the deeply
entrenched stigma associated with transgender health care. There is no
transgender exception to the requirements of the Eighth Amendment and we
will keep fighting for Chelsea’s health needs until she is treated fully
and adequately. It is additionally concerning that private medical
information about Chelsea’s care was again leaked by government officials
despite clear protections in federal law and the existence of a protective
order.”
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