A Texas prison guard is suing the prison that she worked for in November. In the lawsuit filed against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and prison officials, Salia Issa says that she was prevented from going to the hospital for two and a half hours as she experienced extreme pain while seven months pregnant. The baby was eventually delivered stillborn.
Issa says that she called her supervisors to ask for relief from her post although she knew that the prison’s policy states that she can’t leave until someone come to relieve her. After calling several times for help, she was accused by her supervisors of lying about her contractions. Two and a half hours later, her replacement came. Once she made it to the hospital, the doctors rushed her to emergency surgery to find out the baby’s unfortunate fate. The lawsuit claims that medical personnel told her that if she would have made it to the hospital sooner, the baby would have survived.
Issa and her husband, Fiston Rukengeza, filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and their unborn child. They are suing the prison as well as three of Issa’s supervisors. Issa and Rukengeza’s argument states that the death of their child was caused by her supervisors’ violation of state and federal laws as well as the U.S. Constitution. The couple is seeking money to cover medical costs and funeral expenses and to compensate for their suffering.
The state attorney general’s office and prison system have asked a judge to dismiss the case. Republican attorney general Ken Paxton is also arguing that the unborn child did not have rights, which is a stark difference from what the Texas attorney general’s office has based its reputation on. In the anti-abortion fight, the office gave itself the title of “a nationwide leader in the protection of the unborn.”
A TDCJ spokesperson recently said that the agency hasn’t had an opportunity to present its side of the story this early in the legal process.