Motion alleges pregnant Santa Rita Jail inmates mistreated

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Attorneys for current and former Alameda County Jail inmates, some who were pregnant, filed a temporary restraining order and motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.

It alleges women who are expecting are being denied necessary medical care and proper nutrition inside the jail.

"What the sheriff has been doing is either trying to pressure women into getting abortions or treating them in such a way that it imperils the health of their fetuses," said Attorney Yolanda Huang.

"We would never condone or influence patients to terminate a pregnancy," said Alameda County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Ray Kelly.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office says it has not been served or seen the motion but wanted to respond to the allegations.

"We take these allegations very seriously, they're hurtful and we don't believe they're true," said Sgt. Kelly.

Sgt. Kelly says of 207 female inmates, 5 are currently pregnant.

He says one of the instances in the motion of a female inmate screaming who gave birth in a cell alone is true. He says she had been misdiagnosed

at the hospital with Braxton Hicks or false labor and that after giving birth at the jail she received medical care and her baby was okay.

Christina Zepeda is a former inmate who says she believes she miscarried due to the treatment she received.

"From being woken up early in the morning to having to go to court and then being in a holding tank with 8 to 12 other women sleeping on the floor," said Zapeda.

Alexis Wah is a former inmate who was not pregnant. "We often suffer consequences for filing the grievances so I'm speaking about it now because not being in custody I feel like we have a voice," said Wah.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office says it is not aware of any grievances or claims of misconduct by deputies in the jail as it relates to the allegations in the motion.

Commander Tom Madigan and Lt. Karen Johnson who is the Inmate Services Manager also denied the allegations.
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