A federal appeals court has ruled taxpayers in Idaho must fund a sex change operation for an inmate incarcerated for raping a minor.
In a ruling Monday, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a federal judge in Idaho who ruled that denying the gender reassignment surgery for 31-year-old Adree Edmo violated the 8th Amendment’s “cruel and unusual punishment” protections.
Edmo’s attorney’s celebrated the ruling as a win for his “basic right to medical treatment.”
“This is a complete win for Ms. Edmo,” said attorney Lori Rifkin. “Our client is immensely relieved and grateful that the court recognized her basic right to medical treatment.”
Idaho Governor Brad Little, however, vowed to fight against the 9th Circuit’s decision, calling it “extremely disappointing.”
“The court’s decision is extremely disappointing,” a statement issued by Little reads. “The hardworking taxpayers of Idaho should not be forced to pay for a convicted sex offender’s gender reassignment surgery when it is contrary to the medical opinions of the treating physician and multiple mental health professionals.”
Edmo was housed in a men’s prison after a 2012 conviction for sexually abusing a child younger than 16.
Rifkin said during that time, Edmo exhibited extreme symptoms of gender dysphoria, even at one point attempting to cut off his testicles.
If the surgery goes forward it would be a first for Idaho’s Department of Corrections.
A date for the surgery has not been determined, as Idaho could appeal the court’s decision.
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