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Chelsea Manning’s lawyers on Tuesday officially filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense in an effort to get gender-reassignment surgery for Manning during her incarceration in Fort Leavenworth prison.
The suit, which names Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as a defendant along with two commanding officers at the prison and the Defense Department, claims that Manning has been, “denied access to medically necessary treatment for her gender dysphoria." It seeks to “compel defendants to treat her serious medical need consistent with their obligation under the Constitution."
Last month, in an exclusive statement to NBC News, the former Army private once known as Bradley Manning said life in the Kansas military lockup has limited her ability to express her gender identity, writing: "For example, in my daily life, I am reminded of this when I look at the name on my badge, the first initial sewed into my clothing, the hair and grooming standards that I adhere to, and the titles and courtesies used by the staff. Ultimately, I just want to be able to live my life as the person that I am, and to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin."
Manning is serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth for sending classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.
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