On Oct 10, 2012 a woman’s rights were violated when an inmate (female) gave birth to her first child. No doctors were present during labor nor during the actual delivery.
Said inmate, Julie Bilotta, had reported that the guards at her prison had heard her cries of pain during labour and had chosen to ignore it. If that wasn’t bad enough, the guards even got irritated of her constant yelling and had her transferred to a new cell. Julie eventually gave birth 4 hours after the transfer. Luckily, the baby was born and is healthy.
My personal view on this issue is that this is an incident that should have never happened. I think that we are a civilized enough society to realize that these inmates are still people, they are just people who have made mistakes. While paying for it, should they be treated like they are not even humane enough to have a proper health care when in need? Not only that, but because of this epidemic a child’s, or mother’s, life could have been taken away. With almost no help at all, this woman gave birth, endangering both her child and her self.
The report even stated that the baby’s birth was something called a “breech birth” ( that’s when the baby enters the birth canal either buttocks or feet first rather than the head.) something like this is extremely serious during birth because it can sometimes lead to the baby getting caught and choking to death. Also, the woman giving birth can possibly bleed to death. That is why there is usually a medical procedure called a “c-section” for the safety of both mother and child.
So far, the major rights that I see violated are.
1) Article 3:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
An innocent child, who hasn’t even been born long enough to even make mistakes, has had it’s life at risk. It has the right to live, and that prison took away it’s right by refusing to give the mother proper medical care. What if that baby really had died for something that could have been easily avoided?
2) Article 25.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
This article states that everyone has the right to proper health care. Although, in all fairness, the prison guards did have Julie checked out by nurses, the reason why she didn’t receive proper medical attention is due to the fact that they thought it was a false labour. But even at that, they should have made sure that it was indeed false labour by getting a proper checkup by a doctor. At least that’s what standard procedure states, and according to article 25: Everyone has the right to standard living adequate including things like health care.
I do believe that something like this will not happen ever again since it caused such an uprising by a group of womens rights activists. Along with all the press the incident got when it first occurred, it seems that everyone has the same thoughts on this matter and that, hopefully, this is the last time that this is to ever happen.
However, if people still don’t get the message after this incident, I strongly believe that there should be some prison rule stating that when an inmate is pregnant the baby, and mother’s, well being become top priority and treat the birth the same as if the mother weren’t a prisoner.