Only four states have policies that bar the shackling of pregnant women in prisons, jails, and detention centers.
With nearly unanimous legislative support for the Anti-Shackling Bill,
New York looks like its on the verge of becoming the fifth state to
restrict a practice that is considered torture by the United
Nations–but only if Governor Dave Paterson allows it into law. Urge Governor Paterson to sign the bill at the Anti-Shackling Rally on July 9.
The Supreme Court opened its new term with some good news for women: it rejected an appeal from the state of Missouri, which had hoped for one more chance to defend its unconstitutional policy banning abortions for women in the prison system.
The majority of women in prison are mothers of minor children, and women are the fastest-growing prison population in the country. We need to recognize and treat with compassion the humanity of these mothers.
An Arizona state court ruled that a county sheriff’s unwritten policy refusing to provide transportation to female prisoners seeking an abortion violated women’s rights. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court let the decision stand.
In a bit of poetic timing, a federal court of appeals issued a new decision upholding women’s rights on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The case, Roe v. Crawford, concerns the near total ban on abortion access implemented by the Missouri prison system in 2005.