About a week ago I broke the story that Jennifer Fox has alleged that she miscarried her child due to an attack she sustained by police on November 15th, the same night that Dorli Rainey suffered the indiscriminate pepper-spraying on Occupy Seattle's peaceful protest.
Since my initial report, numerous news outlets, to include the Stranger's online blog, have cast doubts on Jennifer's story. She is a homeless youth, and many have used past incidents in her troubled history to indicate that she has not told the truth regarding her assault and the ensuing loss of her child. Pair that past with her inability to provide medical records proving her assertion, and an unclear picture of her credibility has cast doubts on her story.
Since I released her initial account, a story which has now gotten international attention, I have cautioned Jennifer on multiple occasions that she has no obligation to show her medical records to anyone. Keep in mind that, should her assertion prove true, she is in a time of both physical and emotional stress. Issues related to reproductive health are very sensitive, and if Jennifer feels she does not want to share private information, she frankly does not have to. Her case, ultimately, will be decided by a judge, not the Stranger, and not the public.
However, she was eager to confirm her story to me and obtained her discharge summary for my review. After I once again reminded her that she was under no obligation to show me details of her physical well-being, she disclosed the document to me.
The paperwork she showed me was not a complete medical record. It was a discharge summary, and it confirmed two facts to me: that she was seen at Harborview after November 15th and that she has indeed suffered what is called a retained miscarriage, meaning that the fetus has yet to be dispelled. She will be seeking further medical treatment in order to facilitate removal of the fetus from her body.
The discharge summary, however, does not mention the reason for her miscarriage nor the time of death of the fetus. Frankly, I don't know if that is determinable.
A lot of people have asked me if I believe her story, and now I can say for certain that I do believe two essential key points in her story. One, she was assaulted by police. She knows too many details and facts that can be corroborated and has given a statement to the Office of Professional Accountability regarding the incident. Two, I definitely now have confirmed that she has miscarried since the incident.
While I cannot say for certain that the assault and her miscarriage are related, it is very likely, in my mind, that injuries sustained the night of the 15th could very well cause this tragedy in her life. In early pregnancy it is extremely believable that a kick and strike from a bicycle to the abdomen could result in the death of a baby.
In the end, we must realize that this story hasn't ended. There are still facts that need to be confirmed, and we may have to wait until civil litigation is completed before we know those facts. Fox, on the advice of her lawyer, has stated to me that she does not intend to show her medical information to the press at large. However, she asked me to report my findings as generated by the discharge summary. More updates as they come, and as Jennifer and her lawyer decide the best course of action in the development of this controversial and tragic case.