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Health care in prisons must cover transgender people, rules rule

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A transgender woman serving time in federal prison could become the first inmate to undergo gender-affirming surgery under a recent federal judge’s ruling.

The judge ordered the US Bureau of Prisons this week to provide a detailed timeline showing how he will ensure that Cristina Nichole Iglesias receives by the end of the year the gender-affirming surgery she has requested for several years of litigation.

“This is something that is long overdue,” said Alexis Rangel, policy advisor for the Washington, D.C.-based National Center for Transgender Equality. “We recognize that trans people who are incarcerated have a fundamental right to care. appropriate, and they should not have to jump through hoops to access this care while they are inside.

Gender-affirming care, particularly as it relates to young people, has come under increasing attack from lawmakers, fearing young people are making life-altering decisions they may regret. Federal prisons are required to cover the costs of all necessary health care for inmates under the US Constitution.

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