WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – The New York State Attorney General’s office investigated a claim of a female inmate being denied an abortion in 2022.
Attorney General Letitia James’ office investigated a claim from a prisoner that she was denied an abortion for weeks. The inmate, identified at KM, was found not have been given a pregnancy test when she was first jailed on August 18, 2022. Female inmates are required by state law to be given that during a health screening.
The investigation found that the inmate was pregnant later on in October of that year. KM informed jail officials that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. However, the procedure was delayed for about a month after the initial request.
The abortion was cancelled twice in November, but no reason was given. The report stated that a jail sergeant said that authorities didn’t want to pay for the procedure and tried to convince her not to get the abortion done.
KM finally received care in late November according to the report. However, that was nearly a month after she made her initial request.
Former Sheriff Colleen O’Neil was the sheriff at the time and the department operates the jail. Current Sheriff Peter Barnett signed an agreement with the state attorney general’s office to follow procedures for female inmates. This includes giving a pregnancy test during a screening and providing the correct reproductive care for female inmates.