A 57 year old convicted inmate who is serving a life sentence for murder in California was the first American inmate ever to get sex reassignment surgery that was funded by the state. This was confirmed by the prisoner’s attorneys on Friday who spoke to the Associated Press.
The California prison agreed to it on August 2015 for the inmate named Shiloh Heavenly Quine. Among her murder charge was charges of kidnapping, robbery, and ransom with no possibility for parole. Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center Kris Kayashi said,
“For too long, institutions have ignored doctors and casually dismissed medically necessary and life-saving care for transgender people just because of who we are.”
Hayashi went on to explain this is a landmark decision for transgender people who have been denied medical care in the past. California set a precedent for standards of transgender inmates being given state funded sex reassignment surgery. The case allowed for a federal magistrate to allow transgender female to be given nightgowns, scarves, and necklaces in men’s facilities.
Quine state that her presence in the mens prison created,
“confusion and mixed emotions from the males that go from romantic thoughts to disgust and explosive turmoil reactions.”
Thus, she is being moved to the women’s prison following the completion and recovery of her operation. It was performed at a San Francisco hospital. The daughter of the victim Quine murdered heavily objected to this reassignment surgery being taxpayer funded. Farida Baig tried to unsuccessfully block Quine’s surgery through the courts and said the following,
“My dad begged for his life. It just made me dizzy and sick. I’m helping pay for his surgery; I live in California. It’s kind of like a slap in the face.”
Quine and an accomplice participated in the murder of Baig’s father who was fatally shot at 33 years old. His name was Shahid Ali Bai, a father of three young children who lived in downtown Los Angeles at the time in February of 1980. Spokesman Terry Thornton said the state was legally required to pay stating the following,
“The Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution requires that prisons provide inmates with medically necessary treatment for medical and mental health conditions, including inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria.”
It is one thing to provide necessary medical treatment that will save a inmate’s life. One that can prevent diseases or medical complications or even death in the future. It is another thing entirely to pay for a surgery that is unnecessary and will not lead to the saving of a life. This surgery is entirely choice based and unnecessary.