Alameda County sued over forced pregnancy tests

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California has filed a lawsuit against the Alameda County Sheriff's Office over a policy that requires every woman in its custody under 60 to take a pregnancy test.

Shanelle Matthews, a spokeswoman for the ACLU of Northern California, said Monday that the policy violates the arrestees' constitutional rights and is against California state law, which gives everyone the right to refuse medical care.

The suit was filed Monday in Alameda County Superior Court.

Nearby San Francisco has a better policy, Matthews says, because arrestees are given the choice to take a pregnancy test — or to decline one — as part of a medical screening.

Alameda County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said Monday that the office has yet to be served with the lawsuit and declined to comment.

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