I've been reading quite a bit recently about the horrific conditions under which incarcerated women give birth in the United States. Several articles, both in the mainstream media and on blogs, have come out to shed light on this issue, and I'd like to join the chorus. Shackling a woman when she gives birth is a clear violation of the Eight Amendment, and should not be tolerated. Women who have undergone childbirth in these conditions detain the practice as humiliating, and in some cases it causes injury. The following is taken from the linked article, on RH Reality Check.
Consider the case of Shawanna Nelson.
When Nelson was six months pregnant, she was incarcerated in Arkansas for passing bad checks. She went into labor during her short sentence. A correctional officer shackled her legs to opposite sides of the bed that transported her to a delivery room, removing them briefly during a nurse's examination. Nelson was re-shackled immediately after giving birth to her nine-pound son.
"She suffered both mental anguish and injury to her back, intense pain because she couldn't move or adjust her position through her birth process," said Dana Sussman, legal fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Nelson later had surgery to treat symptoms resulting from the delivery of her son, according to The Arkansas Times.
Please take the time to contact your representatives, and tell them that this is unacceptable.