A Texas woman has filed a lawsuit claiming that she was forced to give birth in solitary confinement, causing the death of her baby:
Nicole Guerrero alleges in legal documents that “Wichita County denied (her) access to reasonable medical care … ignored her obvious signs of labor and constant requests for medical assistance, failed to conduct a physical examination … when she began to display obvious signs of labor, left (her) unattended in a solitary cell while she was obviously in labor, failed to transport (her) to the hospital for safe delivery, which ultimately caused (her) to deliver her baby alone in the solitary cell, and resulted in (her) suffering severe and likely permanent, physical and psychological injuries.”
The claim further goes on to describe Guerrero’s night in solitary confinement, where she tried in vain to get medical attention all night and ended up delivering a baby that was not breathing and had its umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.
Though shocking, I wish I could say this news is surprising. Given what we know about access to reproductive health care in prison and the criminalization of drug-addicted pregnant women, it really isn’t – it is a mere continuation of the long list of degradations and indignities people suffer when imprisoned. I’ve quoted Cece McDonald on this and before and will do so again: prisons aren’t safe for anybody.
Verónica dreams of a world without prisons