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.
Where is the reproductive rights community in the over-incarceration of mothers and the almost systematic severance in the mother and child relationship as a result of maternal incarceration?
Surviving a sexual assault and then navigating the health care system to receive adequate counseling and reproductive medical attention is daunting enough for those who walk freely on the outside. For women in prison, these hurdles can seem insurmountable.
What do prisons have to do with reproductive rights? As it turns out, plenty. Prisons, jails, and immigration detention facilities are part of an expanding array of institutions that shape women’s reproductive lives.
Women in prison are constitutionally entitled to abortion services, but prisons repeatedly stand in the way of women seeking to exercise that right.
The reproductive justice movement needs to pay attention to the recent attacks on immigrant transgender women of color.
At least 7 percent of incarcerated women are pregnant when they are sent to prison, with little access to health care or pregnancy resources. A group of Washington state doulas are there for them though.