Gov. Little Says Idaho Appeals Ruling in Transgender Inmate Case
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday said Idaho has appealed a U.S. District Court ruling that orders the state to provide gender reassignment surgery to an inmate.
“The hard-working taxpayers of Idaho should not be forced to pay for a prisoner’s gender reassignment surgery when individual insurance plans won’t even cover it,” Little said in a prepared statement. “We cannot divert critical public dollars away from our focus on keeping the public safe and rehabilitating offenders.”
On Dec. 13, Judge B. Lynn Winmill gave the Idaho Department of Corrections, which filed the appeal, six months to provide the surgery to inmate Adree Edmo.
Edmo was born male but identifies as a woman. Edmo currently is housed in the men’s correctional unit, but has repeatedly requested gender reassignment surgery and to be relocated to the women’s facility.
Medical records indicate Edmo has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder and Gender Dysphoria, according to online court documents from earlier this year, which state that Edmo first attempted self-castration on Sept. 29, 2015. It was argued that Edmo could be subject to further harm if the prisoner did not receive surgery.
Dr. David McClusky, a licensed general surgeon and chairman of the Board of Correction, said in a news release that the court confused its opinion with medical consensus in this case.
“If Ms. Edmo had a broken arm, we’d all agree it should be treated,” McClusky said. “But disagreement among medical professionals in this case does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.”
IDOC Director Josh Tewalt said prison is not the place to get what he called “unwarranted surgery.”
He continued, “We’re confident subsequent rulings will agree.”