A transgender female prisoner received her gender confirmation surgery after three years of legal battles, her attorney Lori Rifkin confirmed to CNN Tuesday.
Adree Edmo has been in custody of the Idaho Department of Correction since 2012 and petitioned for her gender confirmation surgery in 2017.
She was convicted of sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy while he was sleeping, according to court records.
Her sentence is scheduled to end July 2021, the DOC website shows.
A federal judge ordered the state to provide the surgery because Edmo’s mental health was impacted. In February, the 9th Circuity Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, marking the first time a federal appeals court has ruled that a state must provide gender assignment surgery to an incarcerated person.
“With its decision today, our court becomes the first federal court of appeals to mandate that a State pay for and provide sex-reassignment surgery to a prisoner under the Eighth Amendment,” the opinion said. “The three-judge panel’s conclusion — that any alternative course of treatment would be ‘cruel and unusual punishment’– is as unjustified as it is unprecedented.”
Edmo was diagnosed with gender dysphoria after arriving at a men’s prison in 2012 and treated with hormone therapy, court records show.
She had attempted self-castration in prison, her attorneys acknowledged in court.
Despite the ruling, the state government refused to pay for the procedure and took the case to the Supreme Court.
In a written statement in May, Gov. Brad Little vowed to fight the ruling. “We will vigorously litigate the Ninth Circuit’s unprecedented ruling at the Supreme Court because the taxpayers of Idaho should not have to pay for a procedure that is not medically necessary,” Little said.
Justices declined to delay the lower court’s July deadline for the surgery in a 7-2 vote later that month.
Even though she received the surgery, Edmo’s legal fight is not over.
The Supreme Court case is still pending, and “Ms. Edmo also has a claim for damages for [the state’s] years-long refusal to provide adequate treatment,” Rifkin said in an email to CNN Tuesday.
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