Commentary

Article

Unlawful deliveries

30 Jun 2014
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Babies born in detention are taking the federal government to court. Meanwhile, being locked up is making their parents dangerously ill.

When Sister Brigid Arthur first encountered “Ana” she was “sparky,” despite being in detention. She appeared physically and mentally well, and was as excited as “the brightest young mother-to-be” about the imminent birth of her first child. The second time they met, the baby was one week old and Ana appeared sad and confused. Sister Brigid recalls her saying tearfully, “I shouldn’t have had this baby here,” and “I shouldn’t have had a baby at all under these circumstances.”

On each subsequent visit the situation was worse. “Her eyes got duller and duller,” says Arthur. “Eventually she became hugely depressed and ended up in hospital in neonatal psychiatric care.”

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2014
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