A jury in Wisconsin awarded damages to two transgender women who were denied gender-confirming medical care by a state health plan. The state’s health insurance excluded procedures, services and supplies ‘related to surgery and sex hormones associated with gender reassignment’.

The court found that the exclusion is unconstitutional because it ‘entrenches the belief that transgender individuals must preserve the genitalia and other physical attributes of their natal sex over not just personal preference, but specific medical and psychological recommendations to the contrary’.

The defendants’ assertion that the exclusion does not restrict transgender individuals from living their gender identity was found to be ‘entirely disingenuous’ at least for some portion of the population who will suffer from profound and debilitating gender dysphoria without the necessary medical transition. Gender dysphoria is feelings of incongruence between one’s gender identity and one’s sex assigned at birth and the resulting stress.

Such an exclusion would get similar treatment in South Africa under the Bill of Rights.

The case is Boyden et al v Conlin et al.