Prenatal car for pregnant women in Ontario jails falls far short of international standards, says a new study from McMaster University.
A team led by Dr. Dustin Costescu, an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pored over correctional and health administrative data and found that incarcerated women — and even women who had been in jail at some point and weren’t anymore — were less likely to receive prenatal care that was up to par.
And in some cases, they didn’t see doctors until just before they gave birth.
The team looked at 626 women who were pregnant behind bars, 2,327 who were previously incarcerated, and 1.3 million Ontario women in the general population between 2005 and 2015.
Only 48 per cent of the imprisoned women, and 59 per cent of the women who’d ever been incarcerated, received eight or more prenatal visits while they were pregnant, Costescu said. Eighty-five per cent of women in the general population did.
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