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Project Examines Pregnancy in Illinois, Cook County Prisons
By chicagotonight.wttw.com- Alex Ruppenthal
Published: 07/17/2017

While completing her obstetrics residency a decade ago at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, Carolyn Beth Sufrin delivered a baby from a woman whose legs were shackled to opposite sides of the bed. A prison guard stood a few feet away as she gave birth.

Sufrin hadn’t realized until the experience that there are mothers who give birth while incarcerated.

“It kind of determined the rest of my career,” said Sufrin, an assistant professor in gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine who has spent the past 10 years studying pregnancy in prisons.

Data on pregnancies and births in U.S. prisons is either outdated or nonexistent, and there has never been a systematic evaluation of the prevalence of miscarriages or abortions of women in custody.

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