Amy Lynn Gillespie, 27, died on January 13, 2010. Ms. Gillespie was incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail and at the time of her death, was 18 weeks pregnant. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that she was in jail for “violating the terms of her work release by becoming pregnant.” At the end of December, she complained to jail officials of difficulty breathing and discharge from her lungs. According to a complaint filed in federal court last week, she was denied diagnostic tests and treated for viral influenza. But her condition worsened and she was taken to UPMC Mercy hospital on January 1, where she was diagnosed with bacterial influenza. The infection was too advanced to be treated with antibiotics and she died 12 days later.
Her family is now suing the Allegheny County Jail in U.S. District Court.
La’Tasha Mayes of New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice, said that Ms. Gillespie’s treatment was “clearly a reproductive injustice, and it’s a human rights violation.” Tomorrow, NVP is organizing a march to the Allegheny County Jail to speak out in honor of Ms. Gillespie. It begins at noon at Fifth Avenue and Grant Street. You can find more details about the march here.