Things That Matter

This Woman Was Forced To Give Birth In A Jail Cell Without Medical Attention, Now She’s Suing

On the topic of imprisonment and the people behind bars, oftentimes the most vulnerable group isn’t the most visible. It’s no secret that black and brown men are unjustifiably locked up, but minority women are as well. A 2014 report published by the Vera Institute of Justice and The Safety and Justice Challenge showed that minority women are being locked more than any other group, and many of them are mothers, and thousands of them are pregnant. How does the correctional facility handle these women? Appallingly. 

A 27-year-old woman gave birth alone while behind bars and received no medical care during her entire labor. 

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Diana Sanchez was locked up at eight months pregnant on identity theft charges. The report by the Vera Institute shows that most women are jailed for nonviolent crimes, so it is unclear why they couldn’t help Sanchez as she was not a threat to anyone. On July 30, she was examined by a nurse who in turn told her “that she needed to receive immediate medical attention if she ‘started having contractions if she had noticed any fluid leaking from her vagina,'” USA Today reports. 

For the next several hours Sanchez pleaded for help. She called on anyone that could hear her that she was having contractions, but no one ever came. 

Credit: Unsplash

According to the New York Times, at least one person did come to her door. The video footage shows that someone slid a white mat under Sanchez’s cell door. How would a mat help during this process? Minutes later, her baby was born. He was born at a little over five pounds. Medical personal did attend to the baby after he was born. Her due date was still more than a week away. Yes, this is cruel but is it illegal for prison officials to not provide medical attention to someone who is in desperate need of help, let alone to someone who is in labor?  

An attorney for Sanchez said it is illegal for prison officials to turn their back on a pregnant woman in labor, and that is why they’re filing a lawsuit. 

Credit: Unsplash

“What should have been one of the happiest days of her life was instead a day of unnecessary terror, pain, and humiliation,” the lawsuit said. Sanchez is suing the city and county of Denver, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, and six individuals — two nurses and four sheriff’s deputies. 

Her lawyer, Mari Newman, said her client is traumatized over what happened to her in jail. If some women experience postpartum depression after they give birth, just imagine the pain that Sanchez must be under after experiencing such trauma. 

“Diana is struggling,” Newman said in an interview with the New York Times. “She continues to flash back to the event. She was absolutely petrified, and nobody would do anything to give her the medical care that she so obviously needed. This is the kind of trauma that doesn’t go away.”

In response to this lawsuit, the Denver Sheriff Department released this statement to the New York Times, “To make sure nothing like this happens again, the Denver Sheriff Department has changed its policies to ensure that pregnant inmates who are in any stage of labor are now transported immediately to the hospital.”

They also report that after an internal investigation, their employees acted in accordance with their policy. In other words, not helping a woman who is behind bars and is in labor is proper protocol. Sanchez has since been released and is at home recovering with her baby boy. 

More than 12,000 pregnant women are put behind bars every year, the American Civil Liberties Union reports. Some of them are forced to have their babies while being shackled to their bed. 

Credit: Unsplash 

“I felt like a farm animal,” Michelle Aldana said of her experience giving birth while in prison and chained to her hospital bed. 

Each state has different laws that either requires women to be shackled en route to the hospital or while giving birth but this there is no hard law across the board, which gives way for major liberties when it comes to pregnant women in jails. 

Democratic lawmakers have tried to pass the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act which would allow prison officials to remove the women’s cuff and chains while giving birth, but only some states have agreed to this policy. 

Furthermore, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine say that more than 90 percent of women who have their babies in jail ended in live births with no maternal deaths. But what about the 10 percent? We must look at what is causing those children to die.

READ: Cyntoia Brown Was Finally Released From Prison After 15 Years – This Is What Resistance Looks Like

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New Study Finds Black Newborns Are Three Times More Likely To Die Under The Care Of White Doctors

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New Study Finds Black Newborns Are Three Times More Likely To Die Under The Care Of White Doctors

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We all know that in the United States, Black lives are always under threat. Few know, however, that the threat against Black lives can start at a very young age.

A new study found that Black newborns born in the United States are three times more likely to survive their births when cared for by a Black doctor. On the other hand, Black newborns cared for by white physicians are three times more likely to die.

Horrifying, right?

Researchers found that Black infants are more likely to survive births led by Black doctors.

The death rate for Black infants is slashed nearly in half (39 and 58 percent) when a doctor who is Black leads the delivery.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study that found that the mortality rate for white babies is not dependent on the race of a doctor. “Strikingly, these effects appear to manifest more strongly in more complicated cases, and when hospitals deliver more Black newborns,” the authors of the study wrote. “The findings suggest that Black physicians outperform their White colleagues when caring for Black newborns.”

Researchers behind the study examined data from 1.8 million Florida birth records from 1992 to 2015.

The researchers paired the births with the race of the doctors involved.

The study lines up with a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control that revealed that Black newborns are two times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies.

Studies have found that the U.S. mortality rate for Black women giving birth is particularly high for a developed country. As of 2018, the mortality rate for Black pregnant women was 37.1 per 100,000 live births. That’s three times the rate of maternal deaths related to non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women.

Researches involved in the study, are now urging hospitals to analyze their racial biases and health practices.

“Taken with this work, it gives warrant for hospitals and other care organizations to invest in efforts to reduce such biases and explore their connection to institutional racism,” the researchers explained. “Reducing racial disparities in newborn mortality will also require raising awareness among physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators about the prevalence of racial and ethnic disparities.”

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Nicki Minaj Announced That She Is #Preggers And Fans Are Saying It’s About Time

Entertainment

Nicki Minaj Announced That She Is #Preggers And Fans Are Saying It’s About Time

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Although fans have long speculated that Queen of Rap may be pregnant, she herself has thrown out some not-so-veiled hints, we finally have confirmation that the rapper is expecting her first child.

On Monday, in a beautiful series of Instagram photos, the 37-year-old rapper confirmed that she was #preggers. Her fans – including her celeb friends – immediately chimed in to offer their congratulations.

On Instagram, Minaj confirmed that she was definitely pregnant.

A huge congratulations are in order for the raptress, Nicki Minaj, who on Monday confirmed in an Instagram post that she’s pregnant. The rapper, 37, announced the news that she’s expecting her first child in a series of photos on Monday.

In the first post, Minaj wears a bikini and shows off a side view of her baby bump with the hashtag “#Preggers” and a heart emoji.

In two more posts following her initial announcement, Minaj shared more photos of her holding her growing belly. In the third post, she writes, “Love. Marriage. Baby carriage. Overflowing with excitement & gratitude. Thank you all for the well wishes.”

Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Petty, started dating in 2018 and tied the knot in October 2019. Just five years ago the rapper predicted that she’d be a wife and mon by the year 2025 – looks like she made that prediction come true.

Ten years from now, I will have two children, unless my husband wants three,” she told Cosmopolitan at the time. “I will be into my fitness a lot more, I will stop yo-yo dieting, and I’ll be a housewife with careers that I can run from home. I want to be able to cook for my children, bake cookies for them, and watch them grow up. I just want to be mommy. Take them to school, go to the parent-teacher conference, help them with their homework, and put their work on the refrigerator.”

It wasn’t exactly a secret though, as the raptress had been dropping hints for months.

Fans have been speculating for months whether or not Minaj has been pregnant when she tweeted about her food cravings after being asked what she’s cooking during quarantine, and alluded to symptoms of morning sickness. She also posted a video of her husband, Kenneth Petty, rubbing her stomach back in February. 

“Absolutely. Steak. Shrimp. Plus my famous cheeseburgers. So good. Been rlly having red meat cravings then salad cravings with extra jalapeños. Ordered Chkn nachos that didn’t come w/jalapeños. Who does that? Wow.”

Before news of her very real pregnancy, Minaj seemed to enjoy having fun with the idea and the frenzy a potential pregnancy would cause. On an episode on Queen Radio last February, Minaj announced she was expecting before backtracking and explaining it was a big joke.

“I’m pregnant,” she said, releasing a loud laugh moments later. “They really gon’ believe me — my manager’s face! He was about to die!”

Minaj has also been very open about her desire to become a mother.

But pregnancy hasn’t always been a joke for Minaj. In 2018, Minaj told Wonderland how much she wanted to have kids. “I’ve got to get married first then I’ll have a child. I might be closer than people think actually,” she said. “I love children. I’m not going to put that off for much longer.”

In September, Minaj announced on Twitter that she “decided to retire & have my family.” After uproar from fans, she clarified her comments in December during an interview with Billboard.

“I love music and interacting with fans, so I can’t really see taking myself completely away. But I want to be open to other possibilities in my life,” she said. “I do believe it is important to become a woman outside of the magnifying glass. I have to make sure that I’m well-rounded as a human being.”

Fans – including some other major celebs – chimed in offering their congratulations!

As soon as news broke on Monday that she was pregnant, the well wishes started to pour in. Her Instagram post already has nearly 8 million likes from fans and tons of felicidades from everyone from Halle Berry to model Winnie Harlow.

Halle Berry wrote, “YES Congratulations beauty!!!!♥️♥️♥️♥️”

Sam Smith wrote, “Congratulations beautiful x”

Model Winnie Harlow wrote, “Knew it knew it knew it 😍😍😍😍 SO HAPPY FOR YOU! Love you!!”

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