Lawyer to AP: Pvt. Manning Willing to Pay for Hormone Treatments If She Can Get Them in Prison
Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who was previously known as Bradley Manning, wants estrogen treatments that would promote breast development and other female characteristics, which she’d be willing to pay for, while she’s incarcerated at the all-men military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., her lawyer said.
Attorney David Coombs told The Associated Press on Monday that Manning hoped the military prison "will simply do the right thing" based on their request for hormone treatment so the soldier will not have to sue in military or civilian court. Coombs said at this point, Manning does not want sex-reassignment surgery and expects to be kept with men in prison where she’s serving time for leaking mountains of classified material to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Coombs said Manning decided to announce that she wanted to live as a woman the day after sentencing because the prison said publicly it would not provide hormone treatment, her attorney said Monday.
Attorney David Coombs told The Associated Press that Manning had known for a long time she would make such a statement, but "she wanted, essentially, for the media surrounding the trial to dissipate."
Manning did not want people to think the statement was insincere.
"People might think it was an effort to get further attention," said Coombs, who lives in Providence, R.I.
Coombs said he and Manning knew the Army might not provide hormone treatment, but they were hoping the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., would allow it since Manning had been diagnosed with gender-identity disorder by an Army psychiatrist who testified at his trial.
It wasn’t until they read a Courthouse News Service story that Manning decided to make the announcement.
The story quoted prison spokeswoman Kimberly Lewis saying the prison would not provide hormone therapy. It was published Aug. 20, the day before Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for the leaks.
"It was Chelsea’s intent to do this all along," Coombs said. "It was only after Fort Leavenworth had said that they would not provide any sort of medical treatment that we decided not to wait."