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Manning Could Move To Civilian Prison For Hormone Therapy

PVt. Chelsea Manning, formerly named Bradley, was convicted last year of sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. In this 2010 photo, Manning was dressed as a woman. The soldier has asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman.
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PVt. Chelsea Manning, formerly named Bradley, was convicted last year of sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. In this 2010 photo, Manning was dressed as a woman. The soldier has asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman.

The Pentagon is working on a prison transfer for convicted WikiLeaks source Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who has requested hormone therapy. The plan would allow Manning to serve time in a civilian prison, where such therapy is available.

Manning's first name was Bradley when the soldier made headlines for sending a trove of classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Shortly after being sentenced by a military court, Manning said she wanted to live as a woman while in prison, citing an Army psychiatrist's earlier diagnosis of gender identity disorder.

The Associated Press describes the military's quandary:

"The request was the first ever made by a transgender military inmate and set up a dilemma for the Defense Department: How to treat a soldier for a diagnosed disorder without violating long-standing military policy. Transgender people are not allowed to serve in the U.S. military and the Defense Department does not provide such treatment, but Manning can't be discharged from the service while serving her 35-year prison sentence."

Citing Pentagon sources, the news agency says U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved a plan to work out a transfer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which provides hormone therapy.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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