Aclu Pregnancy Care for Prisoners Brochure 2008
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~~~~~----- - ---_._~~ -----~-- Your Right to Pregnancy-Related Health Care in Prison or Jail FACT: Ifyou are pregnant, being in prison or jail does not mean you lose your right to decide whether to continue your pregnancy or have an abortion. Your constitutional rights are being violated if: 1. You are told that you must have an abortion that you do not want. 2. You are told that you are not allowed to have an abortion that you do want. 3. You cannot get prenatal or other medical care for your pregnancy. 4. You are forced to pay before you can get the medical care you need. If you are not getting the medical care you need, you should: 1. Ask yourself if it is just one particular nurse or guard who's giving you a hard time. If it is, then ask other medical staff or officials to help you. 2. Document everything that happens. Put your request for an abortion or other medical care in writing and keep a copy. Also, keep a list ofthe people you've spoken to or contacted. Be sure to write down what they've told you and the dates and times you've spoken to them. 3. In addition to your request for medical care, you should also file a grievance (an official complaint). If your grievance is denied or rejected, you must file an appeal. It is very important that you file all appeals that are allowed in your jail's or prison's grievance system. It is also very important that you follow all the rules and deadlines of the grievance system. These rules and deadlines are usually written in the inmate handbook. If officials will not give you the grievance forms you need, will not let you file or appeal a grievance, or are interfering with your use of the grievance system in any way, you should immediately contact your lawyer or the ACLU (see contact information below). If you are still told that you must have an abortion even though you don't want to, or you are unable to get an abortion or prenatal care you want, you should contact your lawyer or the ACLU. Whether you decide to continue the pregnancy or have an abortion, it is important to act quickly. Early prenatal care is very important for you to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you decide to have an abortion, it is also important to act quickly. While abortions are extremely safe, the costs and risks increase with time. The longer you wait, the harder it may be to find a doctor able to provide the service. AMERICAN CIVIl. LISERTIES UNION American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10004 Tel.: (212) 549-2633 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org