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Should Chelsea Manning be Eligible for Hormone Treatments in Prison? View Count: 409

Recently, Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. After being sentenced, he announced that he wanted to be known as a she and wanted to start undergoing hormone therapy treatments to become a woman. She now refers to herself as Chelsea, and according to recent news reports, may even be willing to pay for hormone treatments herself. We asked experts and others if they thought Chelsea should be eligible for hormone treatments in prison, and here is what they had to say on the subject:


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Chelsea Manning should be eligible for hormones because GID is a diagnosed condition and medical research shows that transitioning is the most effective treatment for GID.

Dr. Justine Marie Shuey is a Board Certified Sexologist and AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator. She has sat on the Board of Directors for GLSEN of Central NJ – Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network and conducts LGBTQ trainings on a regular basis.

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No, he did something wrong, he should not be rewarded for betraying his country and the taxpayers should not be forced to pay for it. If he wants a sex change operation let he get one when he gets out of jail in 9 years. He needs to know he is being punished.

Sherrie Kelley
Yuma Furniture
Yuma, AZ

Chelsea Manning absolutely should be eligible for hormone treatments while she’s in jail.

For transgender people, the ability to transition is a medical necessity. Not being able to transition can place a huge emotional toll on a transgender person. Possibly leading to depression and suicide.

Many people are against the government paying for transition costs for prisoners but this outdated concept is discriminatory and unjust. Inmates should be entitled to health care while incarcerated. The health care provided to inmates should include any necessary medications and surgeries, including access to hormone therapy and surgery for transgender inmates. For transgender women such as Chelsea Manning, hormone therapy only costs about $30 per month – a measly amount compared to the $31,286 average annual cost per inmate in the United States! Surgery is more expensive but still pales in comparison to the $39 billion that Americans gladly pay each year towards the country’s prisons.

Health insurance should always cover the costs of transitioning, including the medical care provided within prisons. It’s unjust for other drugs and surgeries to be covered, while transgender people have to foot the bill for this necessary medical care.

Jordan Rubenstein

Not after breaking the law.

Johnny Walker
CIC Publishing

Hormone treatments? No. Taxpayers should not be required to pay for incarceration let alone hormone treatments.

Barbara Morris, R.Ph.
Escondido, CA

The idea that people use jail time to improve themselves is usually acceptable. If Chelsea Manning feels that becoming a woman is an improvement, I’m not going to argue with that.

Nancy Schimmel
Berkeley, CA

I don’t think Manning has any right to estrogens in the brig. Therapy? Sure. If transition treatment had already begun, perhaps. But, this is not a continuing treatment for this person. It’s a brand new revelation. If the Army had known about the transgenderism, s/he would have been separated from service. Even after the repeal of DADT, out transpeople are not allowed to serve. The military does not provide this kind of treatment for honorably serving personnel or vets; whether they should is another issue. However, providing this treatment to a convict is to reward them for criminal behavior. As background I’ve been married to a transwoman for almost 30 years, and we agree on this case.

Elisabeth Morrissey
Author, “It’s Not All About You!”

My tweet said it all – If Bradley Manning gets a sex change on my dime then I get a boob lift on his. People I know within State said the lives he put at risk is unforgivable. His sentence should include being the boy he is.

Carrie Devorah

Absolutely not! Why on earth should anyone in jail get hormone replacement. The prison system makes jail way too luxurious for prisoners and that is why they have no problems going back there. 3 hots and a cot, why not is what the inmates think. Stop the madness please.

Natasha Carmon
Louisville, Ky.

This is absolutely ridiculous. This is considered an elective treatment. Why would the taxpayers want to foot the bill for someone who is a traitor to our country. I’m sure that the many people that worked hard to have these treatments would have loved for the government to foot the bill. Would we do this for a war hero?

We owe Chelsea absolutely nothing.

Katherine Laurienti
Laurienti & LaBate Meat Co.
Dba Paisano Sausage Co
Dba North Denver Sausage

Should Chelsea Manning be Eligible for Hormone Treatments in Prison? by

  • Sarah Morrigan

    In this specific case, a definite no.

    Mr. Manning has never transitioned nor lived a life of a woman, either as a civilian or in the armed forces. Usually, such medications are given in conjunction with a comprehensive “gender transition” therapeutic program, which includes what WPATH calls the “real-life test.” In an all-male military prison setting it is impossible to undergo other components of the gender transition, nor gain socialization experiences as a female.

    Furthermore, there is no merit in feminizing an inmate who would already be likely to be subject to sexual assault and rape by other inmates; it would only increase the risks of Mr. Manning being victimized by other prisoners and/or guards.

    Just because he had publicly expressed his desire to transition does not mean it is a good idea to do this in the US Disciplinary Barracks. Even as he might physically be feminized, he will remain a man for all practical and legal purposes while in the army prison for men. Nothing would change the fact that he will be treated as a man, and be subject to male army grooming regulations and uniforms, and only be able to socialize in prison setting as a man. I am not very sure about any palliative effects of hormone therapy under such a circumstance.

    Of course it would be a totally different scenario if a prisoner had transitioned long time ago before convicted and had socially been integrated as a female. In such cases all reasonable accommodation ought to be made. But for Mr. Manning, obviously that’s not the case. Many convicts claim to have converted to an exotic religion in order to get special treatment or better food in prison. What makes this any different?

  • llewellynh

    According to the article Manning may be willing to pay for those hormone shots. It’s a no brainer then and understand the military is now accepting transgendered recruits so things overall have changed significantly.

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Andrew Ostler Posted by on September 10, 2013. Filed under Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.



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