Attorney: Woman left alone in jail cell while giving birth

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida attorney says his pregnant client was left alone in a jail cell for nearly seven hours after asking for help and eventually gave birth alone.

Public Defender Howard Finkelstein demanded an immediate review of medical and isolation practices in a Friday letter to Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony.

Finkelstein says his 34-year-old client complained of contractions and bleeding in the early morning hours of April 10. The letter says jail staff attempted to contact an on-call doctor rather than take the woman to a hospital. The doctor advised he would check on the inmate when he arrived at the jail.

A sheriff’s office report says a guard entered the cell after seeing the inmate with her newborn but doesn’t mention the requests for help.

Officials say an internal affairs investigation was launched two days after the birth.

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