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ACLU of Indiana sues IDOC for new law banning gender-affirming care for inmates

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-29 18:02:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Department of Corrections for denying gender affirming surgery to a transgender woman who is currently incarcerated.

The IDOC is following a recently passed law, HEA 1569, that bans gender affirming care to transgender inmates.

The lawsuit filed by ACLU claims that the new law violates theEight Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

"Medical care related to transgender patients has been found by every reputable medical organization to be necessary and even lifesaving. The courts have consistently found that people who experience gender dysphoria cannot simply be denied care," stated ACLU.

Additionally, the lawsuit claims that HEA 1569 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

“The DOC cannot deny necessary treatment to incarcerated people simply on the basis that they are transgender. To do so is a form of discrimination,” said Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director. “Gender-affirming care is life-saving care. If the legislature can deny a form of healthcare arbitrarily, they could just as easily deny other lifesaving treatments to people who are incarcerated.”

The lawsuit is the fifth lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Indiana against legislation passed during the 2023 session.

The complaint can be viewed at: