Defense Department officials said Thursday that hormone treatment for gender reassignment has been approved for Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst convicted of espionage for sending classified documents to the Web site WikiLeaks.
The officials said the therapy was approved Feb. 5 by Col. Erica Nelson, commandant of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where Manning is serving a 35-year sentence.
The treatment would help the Army private formerly known as Bradley Manning make the transition to a woman. Manning made the name change in April 2014.
The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The memo was first reported by USA Today.
The decision came after a lawsuit was filed in September in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It alleged Manning was at a high risk of self-castration and suicide unless she received more focused treatment for gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man’s body.
The Army was providing some treatment but not enough, according to the lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Manning, 26, was convicted in August 2013 of espionage and other offenses for sending more than 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks while working in Iraq.