New Born Babies Given No Right To Life In Prison
Wichita County Texas District Attorney Maureen Shelton isn’t talking about the case. We should.
Is there any time when a human being stops being a human being because the mother is an inmate?
Nicole Guerrero has filed a lawsuit, alleging that Wichita County denied her access to reasonable medical care; ignored her obvious signs of labor and constant requests for medical assistance; and failed to conduct a physical examination. When she began displaying obvious signs of labor, they left her unattended in a solitary cell and failed to transport her to a hospital for safe delivery. Nicole alleges that ultimately, she was forced to deliver her baby alone in a solitary cell that resulted in her suffering severe and likely permanent, physical and psychological injuries. Her baby died.
Named as defendants in Nicole’s lawsuit are Wichita County, the Sheriff’s Office, LaDonna Anderson the registered nurse, and Correctional Healthcare Management, Inc. who employes Anderson.
I really don’t care why Nicole was arrested but will include the information here. I don’t care why she was arrested because pregnant women in jail and pregnant women not in jail undergo the same or similar birthing experience. Babies being born are not subject to the orders and demands of anyone, not even those wearing badges. They are not even under the demands and control of the mother. When the baby says it is time, it is time.
Nicole was arrested on drug possession charges on June 2, 2012. After visiting her doctor for an infection on June 11, while still in custody, Nicole says her doctor told her she was 8½ months pregnant. According to the lawsuit, Nicole was returned to jail and experienced severe pain and cramping. She said late that night that she was checked out by Anderson who determined Nicole was not in labor.
Nicole tried to get medical attention and was placed in solitary confinement. Around 5 a.m. on June 12th, a detention officer walked by her cell and helped her deliver the baby who was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck. The baby was not breathing. No CPR was performed on the baby and it was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Nicole remained in solitary confinement, without medical help, after the baby was taken away.
Attorney Rick Bunch who represents Nicole said that Wichita County and Sheriff David Duke violated Nicole’s due process rights under the 14th Amendment.
This isn’t the first case where a jailed woman has given birth in Texas without proper medical care. Also in 2012, a baby was prematurely born at the Dawson Jail in downtown Dallas, apparently with no medically trained personnel in attendance. The baby lived 4 days.
Doctor Owen Murray, Vice President of Offender Health Services at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said there is no state requirement to have medically trained personnel at Dawson between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m., which was the period in which Autumn Miller gave birth to her daughter, Gracie.
Autumn, who has three children, felt that she might be pregnant and requested the jail to give her a pregnancy test. They refused. When she began cramping and bleeding. They gave her a menstrual pad, locked her in a holding cell and closed the door. Autumn described that the pain was so bad she went to the toilet. Gracie was born on the toilet.
Gracie was born premature on June 14, 2012 at just 26 weeks. She weighed a little more than a pound. She was rushed to Parkland Hospital where doctors worked to save Gracie.
Autumn Miller was convicted of a drug charge, violated her probation and got a year behind bars. When Gracie died, Autumn was taken from the hospital to the jail and placed in solitary confinement for two days. Authorities at Dawson claimed it was a suicide watch.
In June 2012, CBS reported that the Dawson jail was to be closed based on their series of investigative reports.
Those who work in jails and prisons cannot show any signs of weakness and must treat all inmates the same. There’s something with authority figures that when an inmate complains, they are placed in solitary confinement. If they are ill and do not complain and something bad happens, the attorneys for the County and Sheriff use that against them. I can read that now; “ “she/he said they were in pain once about 8 hours before the relevant time of the occurrence.” The end result is the same – humans are harmed or die. Authorities seek to justify the end result by blaming the person – they either did not report enough or complained too much.
Providing medical assistance to pregnant inmates who go into labor is not giving them special treatment. It’s giving that human life ready to come from the womb the right to live. Those babies have not committed any crime. Heck! They haven’t even taken their first breathe outside of the womb.