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Mallika Dutt's picture

Juana was nine months pregnant and driving home from a prenatal checkup when she saw the flash of police lights behind her. Without explanation, she was pulled over and asked to show her driver’s license. Juana gave the officer her consular ID and car’s registration. Still without explanation, or warning, she was arrested.

Juana begged the police officer to let her go. Her three children were in the backseat, and she was only days away from giving birth. But no. Juana was taken into custody at a Tennessee County jail. It was there that Juana, totally alone, went into labor. See Juana tell her story:

What should have been one of the happiest days of Juana’s life turned into a nightmare. She rode to the hospital with her hands and feet cuffed. Once there, she was forced to give birth while shackled to the bed.

Believe it or not, Juana is one of the lucky ones. She courageously shared her story and eventually filed a lawsuit against the Davidson County Sheriff’s office. Last year, after deliberating for less than an hour, a jury awarded her $200,000 in damages. Juana brought to light not only the brutal practice of shackling pregnant undocumented prisoners – shackling of any pregnant prisoner is illegal in federal facilities — but also the damage our broken, inhumane immigration system causes to women and families across the country.

And Juana is just one of a growing number of women whose lives and worlds make this plain: the war on women is even bigger than you may think. The cruel war on immigrants and the still-escalating war on women are part of one sweeping crusade against the fundamental rights of all women living in the United States, documented and otherwise.

It’s time for us to protect the true American values of diversity and democracy, dignity and respect. It’s time for those of us outraged by women’s human rights violations across borders and oceans to support women’s human rights at home. I’m here to stand up for the rights of all women in the United States. Are you?

Tweet this video: I’m here to support the #humanrights of all women in the US. Are you? Watch Juana: #immigration #waronwomen

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