The United States Army has approved Chelsea Manning’s hormone treatment to help with her transition.
It was revealed last night that the US Army has not only approved the therapy, but will also pay for Manning’s treatment.
The former intelligence analyst was jailed under the Espionage Act for releasing classified documents to Julian Assange’s website WikiLeaks.
Private Chelsea Manning came out as trans one day after being convicted and sentenced to 35 years in the military prison at Leavenworth in July 2013.
Since her conviction and imprisonment, Manning has been denied hormone therapy for her transition. Thereafter, she sued the Federal Government to allow her treatment, saying she “has been denied access to medically necessary treatment”.
Currently, transgender people are not allowed to serve in the US military and the Defense Department does not provide such treatment. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs does provide the treatment for veterans.
“After carefully considering the recommendation that (hormone treatment) is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks presented, I approve adding (hormone treatment) to Inmate Manning’s treatment plan,” Col. Erica Nelson, the commandant of the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas, wrote in a February 5 memo.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, has said that refusing to treat Manning would be “cruel and unusual punishment”.
“If she has a heart attack, they have to treat that, too,” Keisling said. “This is no different.”
However, Chelsea Manning is being forced to keep her head shaved, they won’t allow her to grow her hair like other female inmates.
Last month, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told USA Today the ban on transgender troops is likely to be reassessed and should be lifted.
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