Transgender Inmate Sues Indiana State Prison Over Hormone Therapy

Nov 15, 2017

Credit Thomas Hawk / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/

A transgender inmate is suing the Indiana Department of Correction for denying her request for hormone therapy while in prison.

Anthony Loveday was diagnosed with gender dysphoria – conflict between a person’s physical gender and their gender identity -- while in prison, and says the Indiana State Prison’s denial to provide hormone therapy is unconstitutional.

American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana attorney Jan Mensz is representing her. He says the prison is treating gender dysphoria differently than other medical conditions.

“For example, if you were diagnosed with cancer within the DOC, they wouldn’t limit your treatment or deny you treatment just because you didn’t come into the DOC with that diagnosis,” Mensz says. “We believe gender dysphoria, and the medical community agrees, is a serious mental health issue.”

The ACLU has filed for an injunction on Loveday’s behalf that would force the prison to provide Loveday with hormone therapy treatment.

Mensz says Loveday suffers from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues as a result of her untreated gender dysphoria.

“So, I think some of the symptoms that maybe Ms. Loveday was experiencing throughout her life are exacerbated in the DOC,” Mensz says. “And I think that’s an experience that’s familiar probably for many with gender dysphoria that are incarcerated.”

A Department of Correction spokesperson says no one can comment on the ongoing lawsuit at this time, but said in a statement: “At this time the IDOC does not have a specific policy covering hormone therapy. In cases such as these we operate within our existing medical protocols.”