Army Private First Class Chelsea Manning has sued Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and military officials for access to hormone treatment and a doctor who can treat her for gender dysphoria, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The suit, filed with the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), accuses Army officials of neglecting Manning’s requests to be identified as a woman, as well as making a psychologist available to her who was not qualified to treat gender dysphoria, described in the suit as “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, or at least 6 months’ duration.” The suit also calls for Manning to be allowed to follow female grooming standards.
“The government continues to deny Ms. Manning’s access to necessary medical treatment for gender dysphoria, without which she will continue to suffer severe psychological harms,” ACLU attorney Chase Strangio said in a statement. “Such clear disregard of well-established medical protocols constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.”
A Kansas judge ruled this past April that Manning — formerly known as Bradley Manning — can change her name and be issued a new birth certificate reflecting her preferred gender identification.
But the suit argues that, aside from providing her with female undergarments, Army officials have been lax in treating her, despite diagnosing her with gender dysphoria in 2010.
“Incarcerated individuals, particularly male-to-female transsexuals like [Manning], are at a particularly high risk of engaging in self-harm including self-castration when treatment is withheld,” the suit stated.
Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence for violating the Espionage Act by leaking more than 700,000 classified documents through WikiLeaks.