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Governor Pledges to End Shackling of Pregnant Women in Massachusetts

According to Rachel Roth’s post in Mom’s Rising today, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced plans to issue emergency regulations to put a stop to the shackling of pregnant women in labor.

“Regulation is good but here law would be better,” the governor said. Pledging his support, Governor Patrick added, “I urge the Legislature to send [a bill] to my desk for signature this session.”

That bill, S. 2012, just reported out of the Public Safety Committee, provides broader protection than the emergency regulations.

The bill has two aims: to set standards on medical care for pregnant women in jail and prison and to set clear limits on shackling. The bill includes these important provisions:

  • nutrition and prenatal vitamins
  • prenatal and postpartum care
  • some measure of privacy for women during physical examinations, labor, and childbirth
  • absolutely no restraints during labor and childbirth, or during transportation to a hospital for “labor symptoms”
  • no restraints during the postpartum period in the hospital without “extraordinary circumstances”
  • bans on leg irons and waist chains after the first trimester
  • handcuffs in the front, not behind someone’s back, after the first trimester, and only in “extraordinary circumstances”

Read more: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/governor-pledges-to-end-shackling-of-pregnant-women-in-massachusetts-emergency-rules-to-be-issued-until-legislature-takes-action/#ixzz2vEKv6iNh