CA Judge Orders State To Pay for $100,000 Prisoner’s Sex Change
On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that California must provide and pay for a sex change operation to a transgender inmate, because to deny the surgery would violate the inmate’s constitutional rights.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar wrote in his 38-page order that the state was violating the constitutional rights of Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, who was convicted of second-degree murder in April 1987, by not providing the operation.
The judge wrote that the inmate had tried several other alternatives to the surgery but was still experiencing “excruciating pain and frustration” and hormone therapy would cause liver damage.
“Norsworthy has presented compelling evidence suggesting that prison officials deliberately ignored her continuing symptoms of gender dysphoria and the recognized standards of care,” Tigar wrote. “She is seeking access to the medical treatment prescribed by her treating provider and denied for administrative, rather than medical, reasons,” Tigar added.
Norsworthy, born Jeffrey Norsworthy, is serving a 17-year-to-life sentence in a California prison.
The sex change operation would be the first in the state’s prison history costing as much as $100,000, a California Corrections Health Care Services spokeswoman told the LA Times.
The judge ordered the sex-change operation “as soon as possible.”