Should taxpayers be forced to pay for a sex-change surgery for an inmate? That’s what a federal judge ordered the state of Idaho to do on Friday.
Convicted child sex offender Adree Edmo, a male who has been living as a woman, sued the Idaho Department of Correction in an attempt to secure a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation. Last week, Federal Judge B. Lynn Winmill (an appointee of former President Bill Clinton) supported Edmo and ordered the state to pay for the surgery within six months. The Idaho Department of Correction is currently weighing its option to appeal.
While it’s important for all inmates to receive compassionate care, such as mental healthcare to help with gender dysphoria, it is unconscionable that taxpayers should be forced to pay for a sex-change operation for this inmate. Here are three reasons:
First, sex-change operations are extremely costly. A complete set of male-to-female surgeries can easily reach $100,000. But that’s just the beginning, as the surgery will require a lifetime of expensive care due to the body treating the operation site as a wound for the rest of the person’s life. For more detail on this, see Family Policy Alliance’s recent article on the physical problems that result from sex-change operations.
Second, these operations are also not proven to provide any long-term relief for those suffering from gender dysphoria. The real issues are mental and spiritual. Removing working body parts and imposing faux parts simply creates new physical problems and fails to address the real needs of the patient.
Third, the judge’s rationale raises new problems. His ruling was based on an assertion that denial of the surgery would be a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. If a sex-change surgery is a right based on the person’s misunderstanding of their body, where else could that lead? For example, is it cruel and unusual punishment to deny gastric bypass surgery to an anorexic inmate?
Idaho – and all states – should stand against any attempt to force taxpayers to fund expensive and experimental surgeries for inmates. This federal judge’s ruling demonstrates a lack of true compassion for those struggling with gender dysphoria and a complete lack of respect for taxpayers.
P.S. If you live in Idaho, click here to send a message on this issue to key leaders. If you know others in Idaho, please share this with them.