Every pregnancy is different, but there are tell-tale signs that something may not be right. Pregnant people know that cramping, bleeding, and intense abdominal pain may be a cause for concern. When Tuesday Olson started experiencing these symptoms, she knew her pregnancy was in trouble and tried to access hospital care as soon as possible. But there was a problem: she was in jail. This is her story.
More than 1000 pregnant people were confined in Colorado jails last year, and that’s only accounting for the jails that make note of inmates’ pregnancy status (that’s right – some do not). Like Tuesday, many pregnant people are blocked from receiving timely medical care when experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, when they decide to have an abortion, or when experiencing labor and delivery. (Just ask Diana Sanchez.) Prenatal and postnatal care and counseling may unavailable, along with lactation expression accommodations and critical baby-mom bonding time. Contraceptive access, STI testing and treatment, and other preventative reproductive healthcare needs often go unmet. These breakdowns in access are wrong for pregnant Coloradans and hurt Colorado families.
If you or someone you know has been deprived of timely reproductive or maternal healthcare while in a Colorado jail, please share your story with the ACLU of Colorado by filling out the form below. As Tuesday said, all Coloradans deserve humane treatment while in jail. Period.