From the file of Birth Stories That Will Outrage You comes this Iowa story about a 19-year-old prisoner who gave birth alone, in her cell.
Terra Keil, an inmate at the Dubuque County Jail, said guards ignored her pleas for help. The teenager was arrested the night before giving birth for violating parole conditions stemming from an earlier drug charge — she told the Telegraph Herald a warrant was issued after she stopped meeting with her parole officer. Her intake records indicated that Keil was pregnant and due in 12 days.
Keil was transferred to a hospital once deputies finally visited her cell and discovered her and the infant, the umbilical cord still intact. Keil had to relinquish her 6-pound, 4-ounce baby boy to foster care as she has three months to serve on her parole violation.
“Mothers, Infants and Imprisonment: A National Look at Prison Nurseries and Community-Based Alternatives” (pdf), wrote Rachel, “examines U.S. prison nursery programs, which allow incarcerated women to keep their newborns with them in prison for a finite period of time, and community-based residential parenting programs, which allow women to serve criminal justice sentences with their infants in a non-prison setting.”
There are nine states that have prison nurseries; Iowa isn’t one of them.