Last week, in Nelson v. Norris, a federal Court of Appeals held for the first time that the U.S. Constitution protects pregnant women in prison from the unnecessary and unsafe practice of shackling during labor and childbirth. Notably, although the American Civil Liberties Union argued the case more than a year ago, the court’s decision comes on the heels of three states (TX, NY, and NM) passing legislation in 2009 to restrict the use of shackles on pregnant inmates. These three join IL, VT, and CA in restricting the practice. Both the outcome and the history of the Nelson case and the recent legislation demonstrate the dramatic shift that has taken place around this issue.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Well no kidding
It turns out that shackling prisoners during childbirth is unconstitutional. Idaho is one of the states where this is practiced, and the ruling came from the 8th circuit, so I don't know how/when this might reach us, but it's sure nice to have a conservative court ruling in favor of women's reproductive freedom. From RHReality Check: