The Washington Free Beacon obtained documents showing that since 2017, California has allocated over $4 million in taxpayer funds for surgical “gender reassignment” procedures and cosmetic “gender-affirming” enhancements for a total of 157 inmates, including death row inmates. These documents were obtained by women’s prison advocate Amie Ichikawa, founder and executive director of Woman II Woman.
Over the last six years, nearly $2.5 million taxpayer dollars have funded vaginoplasties, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars for procedures such as breast augmentation, laser hair removal, and facial feminization. At least four of these procedures were performed on death row inmates. The corrections agency, in another set of records provided, stated that it evaluates inmates’ appeals for transgender procedures on an individual basis.
According to budget documents, corrections agency officials have requested almost $2.2 million in additional funds exclusively for transgender “health care” this year. Some of these expenses include the recruitment of two more full-time senior psychiatrists, a physician, a part-time surgeon, and two social workers.
Ironically, California inmates can receive harmful and unnecessary “gender-affirming care,” but they cannot receive dental procedures such as root canals on molars, cosmetic tooth repair or replacement, or the management of oral ulcers, among other dental services.
“People who think they’re transgender have rights, and they should be treated with dignity and respect, but it does not include taxpayer dollars being used to do surgeries that are experimental at best and scientifically unjustified at worst,” said attorney Harmeet Dhillon, who represents inmates struggling to get basic medical care.
California was the first state in the nation to fund sex-change operations for incarcerated individuals due to a legal settlement in 2016. The first request for a “gender reassignment” surgery was granted to 57-year-old Shiloh Heavenly Quine, who was serving life in prison.
California was legally required to pay for the operation, according to corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton. “The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that prisons provide inmates with medically necessary treatment for medical and mental health conditions, including inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria,” Thornton said in a statement. Clearly, this is an egregious misinterpretation of the Eighth Amendment.
The state’s corrections department also maintains that there are no restrictions on the range of procedures that prisoners identifying as transgender can receive. Records from the agency reveal that, as of early this summer, it had received nearly 1,000 requests for “gender-affirming” surgeries.
To make matters worse, a growing number of inmates are identifying as transgender. In 2014, only 131 California inmates identified as transgender. The most recent number, as of this month, has surged to 1,847, which includes hundreds identifying as “nonbinary.” According to a legislative report from February 2021, the corrections agency attributes this increase in the transgender inmate population to its efforts to transfer inmates based on their self-identified “gender identity.”
The California legislature and judiciary are making irresponsible, harmful, and immoral decisions with taxpayer funds. No one is helped by treatments that sterilize and mutilate healthy bodies, and leave the minds of inmates confused regarding their God-given sex.
If you or a friend are struggling with gender dysphoria, please take a look at the following resources: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/get-help/transgender-resources/