Inmate forced to have baby in cell

Filed under: Your Pregnancy

Shakira Staten pleaded with prison staff to take her to the hospital when she went into labor. But instead of getting her the medical attention she deserved, guards and officials ignored her. It was only after Staten had the baby in her cell, and a prison guard cut the umbilical cord with her fingernails, that the inmate was finally allowed to see a doctor.

The County Commissioner who oversees the jail is defending the response by prison officials, and -- shockingly -- it seems as if there will be little, if any repercussions.

Staten's lawyer called the events "unfortunate," but apparently has no plans to do anything about it, and a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Prison Society -- an inmate advocacy group -- implied that, in these circumstances, prisons only risk liability in the event that something goes wrong.

So, while it's great news that both mother and child are healthy, because there were no complications, those who refused to give Staten medical assistance -- or even remove her from her cell -- will be off the hook.

My daughter was born in a hospital, surrounded by doctors, and I was still freaking out -- I can't imagine how scared and alone this woman must have felt, trapped behind bars with no doctor to help her through the birth. Does this sound barbaric to anyone else?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.