Idaho Inmate Undergoes Gender Confirmation Surgery After Legal Battle
NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho inmate became the second incarcerated person in the U.S. to undergo gender confirmation surgery while in prison following a legal dispute that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Adree Edmo, 32, filed a lawsuit in 2017 against the state of Idaho and the Idaho Department of Correction’s health care provider, Corizon Health Inc., saying they violated her Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment by not providing the surgery, The Idaho Press reported Monday.
Deborah Ferguson, Edmo’s attorney, confirmed the surgery took place July 10.
Jeff Ray, spokesman for the Idaho Department of Correction, confirmed Edmo is at the Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino for post-surgical medical care and will be transferred to the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center at a time determined by her medical condition.
Edmo is scheduled to complete a prison sentence in 2021 for sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy.
Edmo identifies as female. Prison doctors diagnosed her in 2012 with gender dysphoria, a condition in which the dissonance between a person’s birth gender and the gender with which they identify is significant and hurtful.
A dispute between medical professionals about whether Edmo needed the surgery led to the lawsuit.
Federal district and appellate courts ruled in Edmo’s favor, but Republican Gov. Brad Little followed through on a promise to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court in May refused a request by Idaho state attorneys to postpone the surgery to argue the case, effectively enabling the operation to take place.
A California inmate became the first U.S. prisoner to receive gender confirmation surgery in 2017. Shiloh Heavenly Quine was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery for ransom and was sentenced to life with no possibility of parole.
California prison officials agreed in August 2015 to fund Quine’s surgery after years of opposition to paying for gender confirmation surgeries. The case led the state to become the first to set standards for transgender inmates to apply for state-funded gender confirmation surgeries.