New Mexico hospital separates First Nation mothers and newborns


Lovelace Women’s Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the only medical institution in the state dedicated to women’s health, operated a secret policy of separating First Nation mothers, whom they identified either by appearance or by residence in a particular zip code, from their newborn babies as a “preventative measure” against spreading COVID-19. Normally, the hospital gave expectant mothers temperature checks and asked questions about whether they had been in contact with an infected person; in these cases, however, the women would be designated “under investigation” and given a COVID-19 test and separated from their babies for up to three days. The hospital claimed the practice was specified in CDC guidelines; however, the guidelines do not include geographical criteria for infection prevention and control, and the CDC’s uses countries, not zip codes, in identifying hot spots. The hospital also failed to advise Native American mothers that they had the right to refuse both test and separation.

Writer: Raul Diego
Publication: Mint Press News