Widely-Supported California Bill to End Shackling of Pregnant Women in Prison Faces Possible Veto

8:56 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Shackles photo: publik15 on flickr

Shackles photo: publik15 on flickr

Written by Tamaya Garcia for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

This article is cross-posted with permission from Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice.

Over the past two years, I have worked alongside an amazing group of women to pass a common-sense bill for California moms. Assembly Bill 568 (Skinner) would limit the use of shackles on incarcerated pregnant women to the least restrictive restraints possible.

Translation: It would end the use of belly chains, leg irons, ankle restraints and other barbaric shackling devices that are used on pregnant women in jails and prisons across our state. Yes, shackles reminiscent of slavery are still being used on pregnant women as far long as 8 ½ months.

Medical professionals agree that it’s time for a change. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) was so moved by this issue that they became co-sponsors of the bill. ACOG opposes the use of any restraints on pregnant women because it increases the risk of falling and leaving the pregnant woman, whose balance is already compromised, unable to break those falls. Read the rest of this entry →