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    Posted May 20, 2014 by

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    Philippine senator: Respect Andrea’s rights

    PHILIPPINE Senator Pia Cayetano on Tuesday raised questions on the circumstances that led to the death of the newborn baby of political prisoner Andrea Rosal, daughter of the late communist leader Gregorio Rosal.
    At the same time, Cayetano said the country's prison system must ensure that the reproductive health rights and needs of pregnant female inmates are respected and addressed by jail authorities.
    "The right of a mother to reproductive health is universal and must be observed at all times, regardless of the detainee's political belief," said the lady senator, the principal sponsor of the Reproductive Health Law and chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Family Relations and Gender Equality.
    "Was Andrea given sufficient medical attention in prison? Why was there a delay in her transfer to PGH from her prison cell?" she asked.
    She added: "Pregnancy is a most natural state that may proceed without complications. But being natural does not mean precautions should be ignored. Pregnant women in detention should be given decent living conditions and hospital care, if necessary. Such access should not be denied just because one is a detainee."
    Cayetano stressed that if a woman seven months pregnant is locked up in a prison cell that is merely 5 x 10 meters small, cramped with 31 other inmates, and when she is denied access to the necessary pre-natal check-ups and tests, then we are endangering the health and life of both the mother and baby.
    Cayetano also lamented the deplorable condition of ordinary inmates like Andrea compared to known high-profile prisoners.
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