The Washington Post

Chelsea Manning will begin gender treatment in military prison

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The military will start “a rudimentary level” of gender treatment for Chelsea Manning, a defense official told the Associated Press.

Officials said Thursday that the Bureau of Prisons denied the U.S. Army’s request to transfer the national security leaker previously known as Bradley Manning from an all-male military prison to a civilian federal facility where she could get better treatment for what the AP called her “gender-identity condition.”

These treatments could include allowing Manning to wear female undergarments and possibly providing some hormone treatments, the AP reported.

Manning has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, “the sense of being a woman in a man’s body,” as the AP put it. The Defense Department has stated repeatedly that it does not have the medical expertise to provide treatment for gender identity disorder. In fact, transgender people are banned from serving in the U.S. military. Civilian prisons can provide such treatment, which is why the Army requested to transfer Manning to a federal prison.

Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, told the AP if hormone therapy is not provided, he will take “appropriate legal action to ensure Chelsea finally receives the medical treatment she deserves and is entitled to under the law.”

Manning was convicted of sending classified documents to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks.

Lindsey Bever is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post. Tweet her: @lindseybever
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