Rachel Roth

    Update: Cal. Governor says Bill Goes “Too Far” in Protecting Pregnant Women

    Posted October 9th, 2011 by

    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).

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    October 11, 2011 at 8:16 am by Anita

    A unanimous vote by the famously divided California assembly, and the Governor still failed to sign. Appalling indeed.


    October 10, 2011 at 9:58 am by Rachel Roth

    Thanks, Ashley; you are right about the background of women in prison and the inhumanity of restraining pregnant women. FYI, people can read the entire (brief) text of the governor’s veto message here: http://gov.ca.gov/docs/AB_568_Veto_Message.pdf


    October 10, 2011 at 12:27 am by Ashley

    This is appalling. To shackle pregnant women is inhumane. And frankly, female prisoners in general are rarely violent offenders. They are much more likely to be incarcerated for drug and property offenses which makes the whole concept of shackling insane. We should be using the least restrictive measures that are necessary. And I highly doubt that this type of restraint is truly necessary as a means to controlling their behavior.




    1. Third Time Lucky? Act Now to Stop the Shackling of Pregnant Women in California « MomsRising Blog

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