Army Prison Grants Hormone Treatment For Chelsea Manning

USA Today obtained a memo detailing the decision, a first for the Army.

Chelsea Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence in an Army prison for leaking U.S. secrets, has been granted access to hormone therapy, USA Today reported.

In a memo obtained by USA Today, a leader at the Army's Fort Leavenworth prison called hormone treatment "medically appropriate" for Manning and called for it to be added to her treatment plan. The decision is a first for the Army, USA Today reported.

A spokesperson for the Army referred BuzzFeed News to the Department of Justice for comment. But a spokesperson for the Department of Justice on Thursday said he had no information on the matter.

BuzzFeed News has reached out for more information.

Manning, an Army private who provided classified documents to WikiLeaks, first publicly identified herself as female following sentencing. After the Army refused a request for hormone therapy, Manning sued the federal government.

The U.S. military bans transgender people from serving, but the Veterans Administration does provide healthcare services, including hormone therapy to former service members.

According to a filing by Manning's lawyers, an Army psychologist first diagnosed her with gender identity disorder while she was stationed in Iraq in 2010. After her arrest, additional assessments confirmed the diagnosis.

Following her sentencing, a risk and needs assessment at Fort Leavenworth found her to be at high risk for sexual victimization due in part to being transgender. Manning was told Army treatment for gender dysphoria was limited to psychotherapy, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, according to the filing.

"Every day that goes by without appropriate treatment, [Manning] experiences escalating anxiety, distress, and depression," the filing stated.

An expert hired by Manning told her lawyers that she is at a high risk of self-castration and suicide and will continue to suffer depression and anxiety if denied treatment.

In a motion filed last month, representatives for both Manning and the Department of Defense requested a time extension from the court to allow for "continued developments relating to [Manning's] medical care and daily life" in prison.

The developments could narrow the scope of the lawsuit or make some of Manning's claims moot, according to the motion.

The decision to provide Manning with hormone therapy apparently came three weeks later.