An incarcerated pregnant woman is claiming that she has been denied the necessary methadone treatment she needs in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy. The woman, 24-year-old Jessica De Samito, was jailed for violating parole stemming from a drug possession charge she received in May 2011.
After being released from jail this February, De Samito became pregnant. According to RH Reality Check, the woman began self-medicating with heroin and methadone and failed a drug test prior to enrolling in a methadone maintenance treatment (MMT).
Her parole board claims that it needs two to three weeks in order to consider her plea for continued treatment, but she has already been incarcerated for 48 hours and her withdrawal symptoms could be fatal to her child.
A methadone treatment expert reportedly sided with De Samito during her parole revocation hearing by submitting an affidavit explaining the necessity of MMTs for heroin addicts during pregnancy. The affidavit claimed “the survival of the fetus is at substantial risk” and “it is universally recognized that for the fetus, opioid withdrawal can cause death.”
De Samito is also a Navy veteran who reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorder. The National Advocates for Pregnant Women have been rallying support around De Samito in order to encourage the Guadalupe County Jail Medical Department to give her the medical treatment she desires.