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© 2019 by Pregnancy Options Wisconsin: Education, Resources, Support

A Full-Spectrum Pregnancy Options Network Serving Wisconsin

POWERS

The Blog

At POWERS, the E stands for education. 

We are always learning and growing and want to take you along with us.  

Edition 1, August 2019 

Supporting All Pregnant People as the Authorities Over Their Bodies & Lives

Wisconsin's Anti-Shackling Bill, SB 316

DID YOU KNOW THAT IT'S LEGAL IN WISCONSIN TO SHACKLE PREGNANT WOMEN TO THEIR BEDS DURING LABOR?

 

And to force them to walk with shackles between their legs when they are pregnant?  Can you imagine having to keep your balance with your legs tied while eight months pregnant, or to be tied to a bed during labor?

The U.S. federal government, the United Nations and some States have laws to prevent the inhumane practice of shackling, but these laws don’t do anything to protect women in Wisconsin jails and prisons. The practice of shackling and the human rights of pregnant, birthing and postpartum women need to be addressed in Wisconsin! 

Studies tell us: “Shackling pregnant women increases the substantial medical risks of childbirth. Shackling of pregnant women is a harmful, painful, and demeaning practice that is rarely necessary to preserve safety. Most female prisoners are non-violent offenders, and women who are pregnant, in labor, or in postpartum recovery are especially low flight and safety risks.”*

Wisconsin Senate Bill 316 Relating to the treatment of Pregnant and Postpartum Incarcerated Women addresses shackling and must be passed in 2019!

Another important part of SB 316 is the ability for people who are in labor or who just gave birth to have a doula. Doulas provide one-on-one support and education. A 2017 Cochrane Review of 26 randomized trials including more than 15,000 people compared continuous one-on-one support to usual care in birth and found significantly improved outcomes in the doula group.

SB 316 needs all our support. POWERS registered in favor of SB 316 at a Capitol hearing on the bill and encourages you to make your opinion known to your elected representative - feel free to use the sample letter at the end of this blog entry. Find your Senator here: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/. You can also sign up for notifications.  

 

Pregnant people who are in our jails and prisons deserve the medical care and support that all Wisconsin residents deserve.This includes pregnancy testing and all-options pregnancy counseling, testing and treatment for STIs and HIV, evidence-based prenatal and postpartum care, a safe and supportive environment for the process of abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth, and support for breastfeeding and human milk for babies.

 

*University of Chicago Law School - International Human Rights Clinic, Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers, and ACLU National Prison Project, "The Shackling of Incarcerated Pregnant Women: A Human Rights Violation Committed Regularly in the United States" (2014). 

CONTACT YOUR SENATOR using our customize-able letter template below.  

 

 

Current Date

 

The Honorable (Your Senator) 

State Capital

2 E Main St 

Madison, WI 53702

 

Dear Senator  

 

As a member of your constituency, I am writing to request your support in passing 2019 Senate Bill 316 relating to the treatment of pregnant or postpartum person in prison or county jail.

 

Studies tell us: “Shackling pregnant women increases the substantial medical risks of childbirth. Shackling of pregnant women is a harmful, painful, and demeaning practice that is rarely necessary to preserve safety. Most female prisoners are non-violent offenders, and women who are pregnant, in labor, or in postpartum recovery are especially low flight and safety risks.”

 

Another important part of SB 316 is the ability for people who are in labor or who just gave birth to have a doula. Doulas provide one-on-one support and education. A 2017 Cochrane Review of 26 randomized trials including more than 15,000 people compared continuous one-on-one support to usual care in birth and found significantly improved outcomes in the doula group.

 

Pregnant people who are in our jails and prisons deserve the medical care and support that all Wisconsin residents deserve. This includes pregnancy testing and all-options pregnancy counseling, testing and treatment for STIs and HIV, evidence-based prenatal and postpartum care, a safe and supportive environment for the process of abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth, and support for breastfeeding and human milk for babies.

 

What is your position on SB 316? 

 

Sincerely,

Your full Name

Address

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