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Federal Court Orders First ‘Gender-Affirming’ Surgery for Transgender Prisoner

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For the first time, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has been ordered to secure “gender-affirming” surgery for a transgender prisoner. The prisoner has previously had their request for the operation denied by the BOP.


NBC News reported Thursday that a federal District Court judge ordered the Bureau to conduct a “nationwide search for a qualified surgeon to perform the surgery for the inmate, Cristina Nichole Iglesias,” who is a male transitioning to live as a woman.

Iglesias’ legal representative, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), provided a statement to NBC regarding the judge’s order this week.

“I am hopeful that I will finally get the care I need to live my life fully as the woman I am,” Iglesias' statement provided by the ACLU read. “BOP has denied me gender-affirming surgery for years — and keeps raising new excuses and putting new obstacles in my way. I am grateful that the court recognized the urgency of my case and ordered BOP to act.”

A press release from ACLU Illinois said that Chief Judge Nancy Rosenstengel ordered the BOP to compile weekly reports to the court displaying a timeline to ensure Iglesias gets the surgery and recovers before the end of the year. Iglesias' sentence ends in December 2022. 


In February, I reported for Townhall how the BOP denied Iglesias’ request for “gender-affirming” surgery.

The Dallas Morning News noted that Iglesias, who has been imprisoned since 1994, is serving a lengthy sentence for threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction against the British government.

“In January, the Biden administration restored Obama-era guidelines for federal prisons to house transgender inmates by their gender identity 'when appropriate.' The guidelines also require prison staff to refer to trans inmates by their lived name and pronouns,” NBC included in their report.


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