Pvt. Chelsea Manning says she’ll go to court if the military does not provide her with hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery, in a document released this week.
In a letter posted on the Private Manning Support Network Web site, Manning says attorney David E. Coombs will represent her in efforts to obtain this treatment, and if administrative procedures within the Army are exhausted, will file suit in an appropriate court. He will also represent her in efforts to legally change her name from Bradley to Chelsea.
Manning has begun serving at 35-year sentence in a men’s military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after being convicted of leaking classified documents. Military officials have so far denied her any medical treatment related to gender transition, and have said they will not allow her to wear women’s clothing while in prison. Name changes, however, will be allowed.
Coombs told the Associated Press yesterday that he had nothing to add to Manning’s letter. He had said earlier that he hopes the military will “do the right thing” and that the matter will not have to go to court.