FACT: If you are pregnant, being in prison or jail does not mean you lose your right to decide whether to continue your pregnancy or have an abortion.
Your constitutional rights are being violated if:
- You are told that you must have an abortion that you do not want.
- You are told that you are not allowed to have an abortion that you do want.
- You cannot get prenatal or other medical care for your pregnancy.
- You are forced to pay before you can get the medical care you need.
If you are not getting the medical care you need, you should:
- Ask yourself if it is just one particular nurse or guard who's giving you a hard time. If it is, then ask other medical staff or officials to help you.
- Document everything that happens. Put your request for an abortion or other medical care in writing and keep a copy. Also, keep a list of the people who you've spoken to or contacted. Be sure to write down what they've told you and the dates and times you've spoken to them.
- In addition to your request for medical care, you should also file a grievance (an official complaint). If your grievance is denied or rejected, you must file an appeal. It is very important that you file all appeals that are allowed in your jail's or prison's grievance system. It is also very important that you follow all the rules and deadlines of the grievance system. These rules and deadlines are usually written in the inmate handbook. If officials will not give you the grievance forms you need, will not let you file or appeal a grievance, or are interfering with you use of the grievance system in any way, you should immediately contact your lawyer or the ACLU (see contact information on the fourth slide).
If you are still told that you must have an abortion even though you don't want to, or you are unable to get an abortion, or prenatal care you want, you should contact your lawyer or the ACLU.
Whether you decide to continue the pregnancy or have an abortion, it is important to act quickly. Early prenatal care is very important for you to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you decide to have an abortion, it is also important to act quickly. While abortions are extremely safe, the costs and risks increase with time. The longer you wait, the harder it may be to find a docter able to provide the service.