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Pregnant Prisoner Shackled During Labor

Pregnant Prisoner Shackled During Labor


Imagine feeling the first pangs of labor, and then someone grasping your legs and pulling them taut in order to latch handcuffs around your ankles.

This is what happened to pregnant prisoner Valerie Nabors in Nevada.

Ignoring the objections of medical personnel, guards handcuffed her by the ankles as she rode in an ambulance to the hospital. It was not until she was tripping over them while trying to put on her hospital gown that they removed them.  Once she was dressed, they attempted to replace the restraints until an attending nurse finally convinced them otherwise, saying “…It would make medical history if Ms. Nabors attempted to get away.” Immediately ten minutes after the birth of her daughter, she was shackled again.

The brutality of her treatment was unjust and unnecessary.  Valerie Nabors had no history of violence. She was imprisoned for attempting to steal $300 worth of casino chips. She was not a threat to anyone. The only threat in that situation were the handcuffs that endangered the safety of Valerie’s unborn daughter. In the end, Nabors did incur an injury — a pulled groin muscle. She was recommended physical therapy to fix her injury but was still not allowed to have her handcuffs removed. Later, it was said that her breast pump was confiscated despite it being medically prescribed.

Since then, Valorie Nabors has been released, and she is currently suing the Nevada Department of Corrections for her mistreatment. Unfortunately, though, being shackled during labor is a common occurrence for pregnant prisoners. Currently, only 14 states ban the use of restraints during labor.

Childbirth is challenging enough without one being physically constrained. Please sign the petition for Valerie and all pregnant prisoners, so all women may be treated with human decency and respect during the labor process.


Related Stories:

In Prisons, Women Are Shackled While Giving Birth

Florida Ends Shackling Pregnant Inmates in Labor


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Photo Credit: Riki Maltese

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10:00AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012


8:37PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

This practice is barbaric and designed to humiliate and terrify. It must end immediately, no excuses.No 'they were just doing their job', any job that requires this kind of behavior is totally without defense and any decent person would refuse to do such a thing.Shackling the legs of a woman going into labor is absurd!

8:37PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Carole L, your green star is on it's way.

8:32PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Disgusting, I hope she wins the lawsuit.

5:06PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012


5:04PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012


1:08PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Gee, Bill. I'm sorry that you had all that happen to you. Truly, I am. And though you have experienced debilitating pain, and might be able to relate to the pain of labor, MOST men cannot. I hate to say it, but most men, in fact, are pretty unable to take much pain.

And, wow, even though you KNOW, from first hand experience, what working in a field dominated by the other sex is like, you still put down women who are trying to make it. And that IS sad, indeed.

But back to the woman in the story. She had an epidural??? ROFLMAO! And they thought she was going to escape? How dumb ARE the cops nowadays? (Wait. Don't answer that.)

12:56PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

It never ceases to amaze me at the number of inhumane people comment on threads such as this. She would have been shackled during labor and delivery if it weren't for the nurses.
As for the reason for her stealing the chips and her living conditions - these same "Christian" people are so quick to judge. Does the statement "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" sound familiar?

12:46PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Bill C - I am sorry you had to go through so much pain. But that pain has made you a very bitter person. As a fellow RN I would suggest you seek counceling and soon. Life is too short. Seek help.

12:39PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Mary G - "the cops were only doing their job?" That is what was said of the Germans during WWII.
Thank goodness for the common sense of the nurses. It is obvious the cops lack any common sense.
I hope she wins her law suit and the cops that insisted she be shackled are fired.

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