Whistleblower Chelsea Manning Will Receive Gender Reassignment Surgery

The U.S Military has told Chelsea Manning that she will receive gender reassignment surgery while in prison, her lawyer said Tuesday. 

Manning, who announced she was female back in 2013, was recommended surgery by her psychologist back in April 2016.

According to The New York Times, Manning is pleased with the decision but wishes it hadn’t taken such a long time. 

“I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing,” Manning said. “I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me. But it is hard not to wonder why it has taken so long.”

In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years of prison in violation of the espionage act after sending nearly a quarter of a million classified or sensitive documents to Wikileaks, according to an article she wrote in The Guardian. While in prison, she requested hormone therapy which was not approved until early 2015 after she sued the military. 

Because of her lack of treatment, Manning attempted suicide back in early July, then began a hunger strike in September. 

While the military has agreed to provide her with treatment, she still could remain in solitary confinement for charges related to her suicide attempt, said Chase Strangio, a lawyer representing Manning for the American Civil Liberties Union told NBC

Before June 2016, when the Department of Defense announced it would allow transgender people to serve in the military, members who were receiving gender reassignment surgery were discharged. However, the military has retracted their position, saying they would now provide care to all transgender service men and women, according to USA Today

In her statement published in the Times, Manning said, “I hope this sets a precedent for the thousands of trans people behind me hoping they will be given the treatment they need.”