I have grown to hate the term “judicial activism” because it is frequently used by conservatives to criticize court decisions they simply don’t like. Still, there are few alternative phrases that accurately describe the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision in the consolidated cases of Amanda Kimbrough and Hope Ankrom, two women who were swept up in the Alabama judiciary’s zeal to promote an anti-choice personhood agenda by redefining the word “child” in Alabama’s chemical endangerment statute, so that it now applies to pregnant women who uses any amount of controlled substances, whether prescribed by a doctor or not.
Our new study makes clear that post-Roe anti-abortion and “pro-life” measures are being used to do far more than limit access to abortion; they are providing the basis for arresting women, locking them up, and forcing them to submit to medical interventions, including surgery.
The California legislature unanimously passed a bill banning the use of restraints on pregnant women. Will the governor sign it?
We thought passing our antishackling bill would be easy. After all, who would want to be seen arguing that pregnant women should wear chains?
El Salvador today is not a good place to be a woman. In 1998, the government passed a new Penal Code creating a complete ban on abortion. No exceptions. And now with the pregnancy police combing hospitals, even women with miscarriages are going to jail.
As the Massachusetts Legislature considers this year’s crop of criminal justice reform bills, one that has not gotten much attention is a measure to ensure proper treatment of pregnant women in jail and prison.
A widely-supported bill intended to close gaps in existing legislation and ensure that correctional officers would use the least restrictive restraints possible on pregnant women is vetoed by the governor.
The bill to prevent the shackling of pregnant women in CA’s prisons, is the California State Sheriff’s Association’s top priority for a veto. It means more for them to veto this bill than any other bill on the Governor’s desk right now. Those who follow politics in Sacramento know this does not bode well.
The Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) decided to strengthen and expand existing policies banning shackling of pregnant inmates during labor, delivery and post- recovery. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture applauds this step. However, the cruel and inhumane practice of shackling inmates who are in labor still occurs in some local and regional correctional facilities. Virginia should join the 13 states that have enacted legislation to prohibit this barbaric practice.
Fourteen states currently limit the use of restraints on pregnant inmates, and now Virginia is one of the few states with forward-thinking policies regarding the use of restraints on pregnant inmates. However, local and regional jails in Virginia are not subject to the DOC regulations, so pregnant women at those facilities are still at risk.