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Pregnant imprisoned women may suffer mistreatment, medical malpractice: Part 2

As discussed in the previous post, women who are incarcerated may experience mistreatment or a lack of medical attention during their pregnancies, which can lead to miscarriages, birth injuries or stillbirths.

According to a recent article in The Tennessean, more and more doctors have been arguing that the shackling of women during labor can harm the health of the women and their babies. Women in prisons may also not receive adequate prenatal care.

A woman in Tennessee recently filed a lawsuit that claims her constitutional rights were violated, and accuses the correctional center she was in when she miscarried of medical malpractice, negligence, wrongful death and other claims.

She says that when she was brought into the prison she was given a pregnancy test that came back negative. She said that she suspected she was pregnant, but the staff refused to let her take another pregnancy test.

A short time later she experienced a miscarriage. The prison staff was supposed to recover her fetus from a toilet where she had miscarried, but they mishandled it and destroyed it. The woman says that her dignity and that of her fetus was taken from her. She is suing in part to prevent what happened to her from happening to another woman.

Source: The Tennessean, "Nashville prisoner sues Metro for millions after having miscarriage," Brandon Gee, Nov. 26, 2011

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