The House and Senate have unanimously passed House Bill 342, which addresses issues that pregnant women face in prison. This bill would expand existing restrictions on the use of restraints on women who are giving birth or in labor to include women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy and those in the 13-week post-partum period.
The bill also requires that a pregnant or post-partum woman be provided accommodation to avoid falls during a strip search. Further, this bill codifies the current Department of Correction policy and practice that limits vaginal examinations to medical professionals.
|House Bill 342 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Minor-Brown, Dorsey Walker, Heffernan, Baumbach, Bolden, Morrison, Wilson-Anton||House Passed 39-2. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Friel Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Wilson-Anton Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende Yearick||Absent: Schwartzkopf Shupe|
|Pinkney, Townsend, Lockman, McBride, Gay, Hansen, Sokola||Senate Passed 20-0-1. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson||Absent: Bonini|
|Current Status:||Sent to the Governor.|
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that shackling a pregnant inmate increases the risk of falling, impairs evaluations for serious pregnancy-associated conditions, and further endangers inmates at increased risk of preeclampsia. The Women’s Prison Association reports there is no record of escape from a woman who was not restrained during labor.