Shackling Pregnant Women Spurs Prison-Reform Push

Should a woman in jail for credit card fraud be shackled to a bed while giving birth to a baby well over 9 pounds in weight?

No. I don’t think that is humane even in the loosest definition of the word and I am embarrassed to learn it happened in my home country.

Shawanna Lumsey, who in 2003 was serving time while pregnant in an Arkansas prison for credit card fraud, received minimal pre-natal care during her incarceration. Later she was shackled to a hospital bedpost while giving birth to a 9 pound, 7 ounce baby.

Yesterday, advocates for incarcerated mothers and pregnant women joined an online forum to discuss the study, which gave 36 states failing grades for using various forms of shackling on pregnant women during transportation, labor and delivery and postpartum recuperation.

National Women’s Law Center’s Senior Counsel Jill C. Morrison said that shackling is painful, restricts the mother’s movements and the doctor’s access to the patient and increases the risk of a compromised birth.

I am just disgusted at these findings. I hear so many other stories about prisoners who are treated better than some law abiding citizens on the streets these days. And then to hear that pregnant women, first time offenders no less, are not receiving care for their unborn child and then their unborn child’s birth is being compromised! That is outrageous to me!

Full article: Shackling Pregnant Women Spurs Prison-Reform Push | Womens eNews.

The Rebecca Project For Human Rights

Mothers Behind Bars Report

State Standards for Pregnancy Healthcare

2 thoughts on “Shackling Pregnant Women Spurs Prison-Reform Push

  1. I find this disturbing, in fact it is insane. What sort of world are we living in when those in authority think that it is okay to chain a woman to bed like an animal while she is giving birth. I could understand it if she was a murder or something…but not for credit card fraud!

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