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States weigh bans on shackling jailed moms during childbirth

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Michelle Aldana gave birth to her first child chained to a hospital bed.

Then serving time at the Utah state prison on a drug charge, she canada goose outlet online uk says she labored canada goose outlet through the difficult 2001 birth https://www.outletmoncler.de for nearly 30 hours, her ankles bleeding as the shackles on both her legs and one arm dug in. felt like a farm animal, she says.

The practice of keeping inmates shackled during childbirth was once common around the United States, but that gradually canada goose outlet been canada goose outlet online changing after women began speaking out, with 22 states passing laws canada goose store against it over canada goose outlet canada goose black friday sale shop the past two decades.

Utah and at least three other states canada goose outlet are considering joining them this year, after the federal government recently banned the practice with a sweeping criminal justice reform law. Many other official canada goose outlet states canada goose clearance sale have policies against shackling, but advocates say that without a law it harder to stop a practice they condemn as dangerous and inhumane.

Women are America fast growing segment of prisoners. jails or prisons canada goose coats each year.

me, it just a fundamental issue canada goose outlet store of dignity, said Democratic state Rep. canada goose outlet canada Stephanie Pitcher, who is sponsoring the Utah measure. woman deserves dignity in childbirth. the state prison changed its official policy to prohibit shackling in 2015, Pitcher has heard from a number of Utah doctors who have treated incarcerated women having babies in shackles, some as recently as this canada goose outlet toronto factory year. Her bill, which would apply to both the prison and local jails, passed the state Canada Goose Online House and is being considered by the Senate.

The practice is an outgrowth of policies requiring all prisoners to be restrained during medical treatment for safety, said Amy Canada Goose Jackets Fettig, deputy director of the National Prison Project at the ACLU.

But childbirth is different, she canada goose coats on sale said. Preventing a woman from moving during labor increases the risk of potentially life threatening health risks inherent in childbirth, like blood clots. cheap canada goose uk It also makes it harder to move her if there is an emergency, or feed the baby after it born.

Meanwhile, the physical conditions of labor make escape attempts unlikely, and there are no documented cases of a woman getting away while having a child, Fettig said.

Still, some canada goose factory outlet have raised safety concerns. In Utah, Republican Rep. Eric Hutchins has pointed out that violent incidents happen often in state prisons, and hospitals have far less built in security.

He ultimately voted in favor of the bill, which does allow some shackling during transportation and the use of soft restraints if an inmate is documented to be dangerous. Prison officials are also in support, and say their policy change means women like Aldana are treated differently today.

are the odds that without specific training, your average corrections officer knows every policy? she said. In New York, for example, a report found the practice continued even after a law was passed.

In Wisconsin, a woman said in a lawsuit she was shackled with a chain so short that she couldn reach the stirrups during labor in February 2014. Tennessee and Arkansas have faced similar lawsuits and are weighing canada goose outlet uk bans on the practice this year, along with South Carolina.

In Utah, Aldana tough 2001 labor left her with a fracture to her pelvis, but she has recovered and is now a substance abuse counselor pregnant with her third child. She still suffers with anxiety about canada goose outlet store uk childbirth but said a law against shackling would be a relief.

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