Pregnant Inmate Sues After Being Forced to Wear Shackles During Labor


Before leaving the hospital, doctors prescribed physical therapy to help with Nabors' pain. But when a therapist asked Nabors to walk up and down a hallway, officers again refused to remove the shackles, according to the lawsuit.

Upon returning to prison after the birth, Nabors' doctor recommended she use a breast pump because she was no longer allowed to nurse her daughter. When she returned to FMWCC, the breast pump was confiscated, the lawsuit says.

After enduring 12 hours of significant pain, the pump was returned to her, only to be taken again the next day. Nabors sought medical attention when her breasts became extremely painful. The nurse on duty gave her ACE bandages to wrap her breasts. The lawsuit claims Nabors suffered pronounced pain and developed a clogged milk duct from not using the pump.

Nabors is seeking damages for the punishment. She was released from Jean Conservation Camp on May 11, 2012. She has returned to the community and is taking care of her daughter, Pratt said.

"In sum, this is a case of shocking and deliberate indifference to the wholly obvious, serious medical needs of Valerie Nabors and the child she was about to deliver," the lawsuit states.

Restraining a pregnant woman by the arms, legs or belly can pose significant medical risks to her and her unborn child, Dr. Carolyn Sufrin, an ob-gyn at UC San Francisco who cares for incarcerated women at the San Francisco County Jail, told ABC News in 2010. Pregnant women have a different center of gravity from others and are more prone to tripping and falling. Shackling their arms or ankles could increase their risk of falling on their bellies, which could jeopardize the baby's health.

As of March 2012, 15 states have passed legislation that limit or ban the shackling of women during labor and delivery.

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