After Maine Gov. Paul LePage made national news earlier this month by claiming to have “pocket vetoed” 19 bills that became law without his signature, messages started popping up in my inbox saying things like “An accidental win!” and “Maine—accidentally—outlaws shackling pregnant women?”
Carmelina Pérez, a Honduran woman living in El Salvador, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in July 2014 after suffering what appeared to be a miscarriage. But last week, she was acquitted of all charges, setting a possible new precedent in the fight for reproductive justice in El Salvador.
Attorneys for Patel, who was jailed following a miscarriage in 2013, claim prosecutors produced no evidence that the Indiana woman took medication to terminate her pregnancy.
Too often, news stories about people in prison or jail use dehumanizing language to describe those under government control. The term “inmate” is the most pervasive of these words; it is widely used by judges, prison and jail officials and staff, and the media.
The attack on Michelle Wilkins was an unfathomable act of cruelty. However, Colorado legislators must not use it as grounds for passing new feticide laws that will actually make pregnant women vulnerable to arrest and punishment.
The combination of mass incarceration and inflexible foster laws leads to an extraordinary, disproportionate punishment that overwhelmingly affects poor and minority women, an expert told RH Reality Check.
During a five-month review of more than 200 lawsuits, and interviews with lawyers and public health experts, RH Reality Check found that drug treatment for incarcerated women is inconsistent and inadequate—and in some incidents, it is fatal.
RH Reality Check has identified at least a dozen instances of women experiencing miscarriages, stillbirths, and ectopic pregnancies in jails and prisons across the country, in circumstances that show a shocking lack of medical care from the professionals charged with providing it.
In this first part of RH Reality Check‘s Women, Incarcerated series, we focus on one woman’s prison time—which involved a high-risk pregnancy, forced induced labor, and shackling—to illustrate the problems that thousands of women face behind bars.
According to Tamara Loertscher and her attorneys, unbeknownst to her, as hospital workers were preparing a prescription to treat Loertscher’s thyroid condition, they were also initiating unborn child protection proceedings on behalf of Loertscher’s then 14-week-old fetus.