A Tennessee sheriff is named in a civil lawsuit after he denied a 29-year-old inmate access to an abortion, saying the woman's life was not in danger and her pregnancy was not the result of a crime, according to newly filed court papers.
The woman, Kei'Choura Cathey, was not released until it was too late for the procedure and had the child in April, the court filing says. Her lawsuit alleges Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland illegally denied her access to an abortion, which the nation's top court has protected as a woman's right for decades.
The case, and others around the country, pose questions about what obligations top law enforcement officers have when women who are incarcerated request abortions.
"Courts have generally said prisoners retain their right to access abortion even if they’re incarcerated," said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney for the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project.