A federal judge Thursday ordered that a California prison inmate be allowed to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
Should the operation occur, it will be the first in state prison history and cost as much as $100,000, according to Joyce Hayhoe, spokeswoman for California Corrections Health Care Services.
U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco ruled that Michelle-Lael Norsworthy’s constitutional rights were being violated if the inmate’s “serious medical need” was not met, according to the ruling.
Norsworthy, 51, is housed at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione. Norsworthy, born Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy, was convicted of murder, according to the Associated Press.
Norsworthy, who has identified as a woman since the 1990s, has suffered severe dysphoria, or dissatisfaction with her life, due to her natural-born gender, Tigar said in the ruling.