Texas woman files federal lawsuit after birth in solitary confinement results in baby’s death

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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.

1bfea3e7449eff65a94e2e55a8b7acda-bpfullVerónica dreams of a world without prisons 

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and artist.

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