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Pregnant imprisoned women may suffer mistreatment, medical malpractice: Part 1

In the U.S, 49 states do not report the pregnancies and outcomes of those pregnancies of all imprisoned women, according to a 2010 study compiled by The Rebecca Project for Human Rights and the National Women's Law Center. Imprisoned women who are pregnant may not receive the care they need, which can lead to miscarriages, stillbirths and birth injuries.

A recent article in The Tennessean discusses a few different lawsuits that have arisen out of cases where an imprisoned woman suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth and claims it was due to medical malpractice and other mistreatment while incarcerated.

One woman sued the corporation that runs the prison she was incarcerated in, claiming they were responsible for the wrongful death of her son. She spent almost her entire pregnancy behind bars. She was allowed visits with a doctor each month, but claimed she was then ignored when she began to experience bleeding at 22 weeks into her pregnancy.

After three days passed, she was taken to a hospital. Once there, she gave birth to a boy who lived for three hours. Her attorney argued that her son's premature birth and death could have been prevented if she had received earlier medical treatment. Her case was eventually settled.

The next post will further discuss this issue and other cases of mistreatment of incarcerated pregnant women.

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

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