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Pregnant Guatemalan woman has miscarriage in US custody

A Guatemalan woman apprehended by US Border Patrol Agents has had a miscarriage while in custody.

The 25-year-old immigrant suffered a miscarriage while in Customs and Border Protection custody on July 3, CBP said in a statement Wednesday.

“At the station, the woman explained she was four months pregnant and complained of stomach pain and vaginal bleeding,” the statement said. “She was medically screened at the station and determined to need medical attention.  Agents took the woman to an area hospital and after a medical examination, medical staff explained that the woman’s unborn child did not have a heartbeat and that the pregnancy was no longer viable.  The woman remained in the hospital to ensure her well-being and was released on the evening of July 5th.”

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There has recently been a surge in reports about deaths and health crises for migrants detained by federal agents at the US border with Mexico.

“Removing layers of clothing, applying ice to armpits and groin, and getting them into the air conditioning as quickly as possible is stuff that I’ve done many many times.” San Diego sector Border Patrol spokesman Justin Castrejon told USA Today. “Every single agent is trained as a first responder, can perform basic lifesaving practices, possess advanced communication tools to call for help, and even some agents, like myself, are Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMT) certified through the state of California and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.”

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As many as 28 miscarriages have been reported in or near the time of migrants’ detention in 2017 and 2018.

Castrejon said he was “grateful and proud that the Border Patrol agents from my station were there and able to act expeditiously so that this woman would have no other future illnesses or complications due to her medical situation when apprehended by Border Patrol.”

Human rights activists and some US lawmakers have criticized the medical screening and treatment migrants are receiving, as well as the conditions in which they are being held.

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