Update: Cal. Governor says Bill Goes "Too Far" in Protecting Pregnant Women
Two sessions. Two bills passed unanimously by the Legislature, thanks to broad-based organizing campaigns.
And now, two vetoes, from governors of two different political parties.
According to The Sacramento Bee, California's Governor Brown vetoed the bill to protect pregnant women from shackling today, October 9.
After waiting until the last minute to issue a decision, he said, “At first blush, I was inclined to sign this bill because it certainly seems inappropriate to shackle a pregnant inmate unless absolutely necessary.” “However,” he continued, “the language of this measure goes too far.”
This veto leaves in place the status quo of uneven implementation of the current inadequate law. While pregnant women incarcerated in the state of California have more protections than women in most other states, too many government officials and employees, especially in the county jails, are still not complying with existing legal mandates.
After such a strong showing of support from formerly imprisoned women and diverse allies -- medical, civil rights, reproductive justice -- as well as the entire Legislature, what will it take to make further progress on this issue?
For more background, see my earlier post here (which links to many of the key organizations leading the way).