The pregnant officer reported contraction-like pains at work, but said she wasn’t allowed to leave for hours. Her baby was delivered stillborn. If Issa had gotten to the hospital sooner, medical personnel told her, the baby would have survived, according to a federal lawsuit filed against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and prison officials.
But the prison agency and the Texas attorney general’s office, which has staked its reputation on “defending the unborn” all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, are arguing the agency shouldn’t be held responsible for the stillbirth because staff didn’t break the law. Plus, they said, it’s not clear that Issa’s fetus had rights as a person.