Pregnant Guatemalan woman has miscarriage in US custody, Border Patrol says

Pregnant Guatemalan woman has miscarriage in US custody, Border Patrol says
© Getty Images

A 25-year-old Guatemalan woman suffered a miscarriage while in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody on July 3. 

The woman was apprehended by Border Patrol Agents near Imperial Beach, California, according to a CBP statement to The Hill. She was four months pregnant and was traveling with her husband and four-year-old child.


The CBP statement confirmed the miscarriage and that the woman was given medical attention.

"At the station, the woman explained she was four months pregnant and complained of stomach pain and vaginal bleeding," the statement said. "She was medically screened at the station and determined to need medical attention.  Agents took the woman to an area hospital and after a medical examination, medical staff explained that the woman’s unborn child did not have a heartbeat and that the pregnancy was no longer viable.  The woman remained in the hospital to ensure her well-being and was released on the evening of July 5th."

A Border Patrol spokesperson told USA Today that Border Patrol agents can be tasked with serving as first responders to address health crises for migrants. The spokesperson said he was “grateful and proud that the Border Patrol agents from my station were there and able to act expeditiously so that this woman would have no other future illnesses or complications due to her medical situation when apprehended by Border Patrol." 

“Every single agent is trained as a first responder, can perform basic lifesaving practices, possess advanced communication tools to call for help, and even some agents, like myself, are Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMT) certified through the state of California and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians," he said.

There have been approximately 28 miscarriages among migrant women in U.S. detention 2017 and 2018, including the February stillbirth of a baby, according to USA Today.

The Trump administration ended a policy to stop presumptively releasing pregnant migrants in March 2018.