Pregnant Prisoners ‘Routinely’ Denied Access to Suitable Maternity Care

London: Nowhere was the disparity in women’s healthcare greater than in women’s prisons, according to a legal charity’s response to a government ‘call for evidence’ to improve women’s healthcare. The report by the Howard League for Penal Reform highlights the risks to  pregnant prisoners ‘routinely’ denied access to suitable maternity care with two babies dying in prisons a nine month period. ‘Women across the whole criminal justice system often suffer from unmet physical and mental health problems, some of which contribute to their criminalisation,’ wrote the group in its submission to the Department of Health’s women’s health strategy. Women in prison ‘tend to have extremely poor health which is often not met in prison’, the group said. ‘If the Department of Health is able to rise to the challenge of meeting the health needs of women in prison, then it will have demonstrated it can meet the needs of the most marginalised of women.’

Read more: Jon Robins, Justice Gap,

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