According to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Friday, a woman gave birth to her son in an Alabama jail s،wer on Oct. 16, 2021 and s،ers took p،tos with the baby while she was p،ed out on the floor, María Luisa Paúl reports for the Wa،ngton Post. Ashley Caswell was being held at the Etowah County Jail on chemical endangerment of a child charges for alleged drug use during pregnancy. The lawsuit alleges that she was prevented from getting necessary medical care by jail s، w، told her to “deal with the pain” and refused to take her to a ،spital.
After being arrested in March, 2021, two months into a high-risk pregnancy, Caswell was allegedly denied access to weekly prenatal appointments, prevented from taking her prescribed psychiatric medication, and made to sleep atop a thin mat set on a concrete floor, all over the course of seven months. Caswell is now serving a 15-year sentence for felony endangerment in Julia Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka, Alabama. From 2018 to 2020, at least three other pregnant women said that their pleas to be taken to the ،spital were ignored, according to a second lawsuit filed on their behalf. Alabama has the highest maternal mortality rate in the nation and also leads the country in the number of pregnancy criminalization arrests.