Florida Ends Shackling Pregnant Inmates In Labor


It’s unusual to hear of good news from the war on women coming out of Florida, but there is some. Last week Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a bill that establishes humane and uniform rules for the treatment of pregnant women who are incarcerated in any jail, prison or detention center in Florida.

Women’s health advocates are calling the bill historic since it is the first of its kind in the South.

The legislation was sponsored by state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa and Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa. A similar bill was introduced last year but couldn’t pass a final vote in the House.

Among the protections guaranteed to pregnant women who are incarcerated are prohibitions on shackling women while they are in labor an d a series of best practices for treating women at every stage of pregnancy.

The need for the legislation became apparent when Florida received an “F” for its shackling policies by the Rebecca Project for Human Rights in 2010. Any state that failed to “comprehensively limit, or limit at all, the use of restraints on pregnant women during transportation, labor and delivery and postpartum recuperation” received a failing grade from the group.

Thirty-six other states also received failing grades which means that Florida is not just a leader in the South, they are a leader across the country on the issue of humanely treating incarcerated pregnant women. That shows just how far we have yet to go.


Related Stories:

Woman Forced To Give Birth While Shackled

Photo from one tiny spark via flickr.


Lilithe Magdalene

One down, 36 states to go.

Linda Jarsky
Linda Jarsky6 years ago

"There is nothing humane about some humans - beware, it seems to be a growing fungus among us...."

Alice E.
Alice E6 years ago

Now if the world will just extend the same consideration to non-human pregnant and laboring females.

Bridget smith
Bridget smith6 years ago

wow, this had to be an issue before they did something about it? It is common sense. Well, for women it's common sense. Dipshits!

alex l.
alex l6 years ago

they will, however, be fitting tiny little shackles on the new born children to ensure that they don't make a run for it while their mother distracts the nurses and doctors.

Angela N.
Angela N6 years ago

thanks =)

A N M.
anne M6 years ago

The US today is obviously more primitive than the era of the Spanish Inquisition. This is really pathetic. Of course, this is also the reason why I usually don't sign any petitions aimed at foreign governments: Frankly I'm too embarrassed to tell other nations to be less primitive than the US.

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold6 years ago

Good!! It is about time that this happened! At least Florida is good for something besides warm weather and beautiful beaches in the middle of the winter.

Tom Dundee
Tom Dundee6 years ago

The annual stockholder meeting ought to be interesting to say the least and there ought to be unlimited seating.

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B6 years ago

About time too.