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Published on 10 Oct 2013 | over 4 years ago

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A Mexican woman who was forced to give birth on the lawn outside a clinic after being denied care has shocked the nation and caused a raging debate about the state of health care in the country as well as systemic discrimination against indigenous people.

The issues came to light after a witness took the photo of the birth and gave it to a reporter. The picture then ran in several national newspapers and was widely circulated on the Internet.

Irma Lopez, 29, and her husband were turned away from the clinic in Oaxaca state and told to take a walk.

Lopez and her husband had walked more than an hour from their remote mountain village to the clinic after Lopez began to go into labor.

But after arriving at the clinic the nurse told her to go outside, and said a doctor could see her the next morning. But 90 minutes later her waters broke and Lopez gave birth to a son, named Salvador.

The government of the southern state said Wednesday it has suspended the director of the health center while an investigation into the incident is carried out.

Mayra Morales, the local representative of the national Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights told AP, "The photo is giving visibility to a wider structural problem that occurs within indigenous communities: Women are not receiving proper care. They are not being offered quality health services, not even a humane treatment."


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