May 2nd, 2014 6:47 am | by KATE WILLSON News | Posted In: Gay Rights, Cops and Courts, Politics

Transgender Inmate in Ohio Seeks Treatment In Case Parallel to Oregon Inmate's Fight

stevens_4-9-97Oregon officials took medication away from Anny May Stevens when she was imprisoned for killing a Portland man in 1997 - Multnomah County Jail

An inmate is Ohio is fighting the state's prison system to continue providing hormone treatment for her diagnosis of gender dysphoria—the clinical term for someone who is transgender. 

Whitney Lee, who was born a male, began taking estrogen in 1999. But when she landed in a male prison in 2012, the state psychiatrist took away her drugs, the Associated Press reports this week

The psychiatrist determined that Lee, who had lived as a woman since age 18, didn't meet the requirements for treatment.  The state argued that even if the court found wrongdoing, it would at most be medical malpractice, not a violation of constitutional rights, the AP reported. 

Lee's case is similar to that of Anny May Stevens, a transgender woman who pleaded guilty to killing a Portland man in 1997 and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. She had been living as a woman and taking prescribed estrogen until the Oregon Department of Corrections doctors took away her medication

Stevens fought for years to get back on the medication. So far Corrections has refused, saying she can wait until she is released. Her earliest release would be next summer.

Corrections officials and its medical director Steven Shelton would not discuss Stevens' case with WW nor say whether anyone employed by the state has specialized training in how to treat inmates diagnosed as transgender. 

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