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Pentagon may move Chelsea Manning to civilian prison for hormone treatment

DOD considering how to 'properly balance the soldier's medical needs with our obligation to ensure Private Manning remains behind bars.'
By Matt Bradwell   |   May 14, 2014 at 12:16 PM

LEAVENWORTH, Kan., May 14 (UPI) -- The Pentagon is considering moving Private Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison so she can seek gender-reassignment treatment.

The imprisoned soldier, born Bradley Manning, announced she suffered from a gender-dissociation disorder the day after getting sentenced to 35 years in prison for her role in the largest intelligence leak in United States history. She is currently serving her sentence in Kansas' Fort Leavenworth military prison, but that prison lacks the medical resources necessary for Manning's gender reassignment treatment. Manning has requested hormone treatment so she may live as a woman.

Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John F. Kirby said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved military requests to "evaluate potential treatment options for inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria."

No decision about whether to move Manning has been made yet, but Kirby said the Department of Defense is considering how to "properly balance the soldier's medical needs with our obligation to ensure Private Manning remains behind bars."

Earlier this week Defense Secretary Hagel commented the military's policy regarding transgendered Americans should be reviewed, saying, "Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it."

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