Federal Appeals Court Rules Idaho Must Pay For Transgender Inmate’s Surgery

Court rules convicted child abuser, 31, will become the FIRST inmate in the country to get sex reassignment surgery after Idaho loses appeal.

(AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little says he’ll fight a Friday decision by a federal appeals court that the state must provide gender confirmation surgery to a transgender inmate from Bannock County who’s lived as a woman for years, but who has continuously been housed in a men’s prison.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a federal judge in Idaho that the state’s denying the surgery for 31-year-old Adree Edmo amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Little said he plans to appeal the “extremely disappointing” decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.



“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 news release. “We cannot divert critical public dollars away from our focus on keeping the public safe and rehabilitating offenders.”

The ruling affirms taxpayer funds will be used to provide gender reassignment surgery to Adree Edmo, who’s transgender and has been an inmate in the Idaho State Correctional Institution since 2012. Edmo has been ever since she pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a 15-year-old male at a house party.

Edmo doesn’t have access to her personal funds while she’s incarcerated. The estimated cost of male-to-female gender reassignment surgery can be more than $100,000.

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