Ensuring Access to Medical Care
Whether an incarcerated woman decides to continue her pregnancy to term or have an abortion, she has a constitutionally protected right to obtain appropriate medical care. The ACLU works to secure these rights in prisons and jails throughout the country.
> RI ACLU Commends Governor’s Signage of Anti-Shackling Bill Into Law (6/10/2011)
> Montana Mother Asks Court to Remedy Mistreatment of Pregnant Inmates by Detention Facility (11/19/2009)
> “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Agrees To Stop Requiring Court Orders For Abortions But Creates New Obstacle (7/2/2009)
> High Court Refuses to Review Arizona Prison’s Abortion Policy (3/24/2008)
> Federal Court Protects Access to Abortion Care for Women Prisoners in Missouri (1/22/2008)
> ACLU Applauds Supreme Court Decision Allowing Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services for MO Prison Inmate (10/17/2005)
> Rhode Island Stands Up For Pregnant Women in Prison: Says No to Shackling (6/16/2011)
> BLOG: “No One Should Have to Go Through What I Went Through (11/19/2009)
> BLOG: The Games Sheriff Arpaio Continues To Play With Women’s Health (7/2/2009)
> BLOG: “Don’t Tell and They Won’t Ask”: Reproductive Health Care in Immigration Detention (3/18/09)
> BLOG: Meeting the Health Care Needs of Pregnant Inmates (3/09/09)
> BLOG SERIES: Reproductive Rights in Prison (12/19/2007)
> Abortion Access for Incarcerated Women
> State Standards for Pregnancy-Related Health Care in Prison
> Women Don’t Check Their Reproductive Rights at the Jailhouse Door
> Know Your Rights: Pregnancy Related Health Care in Prison or Jail
> Access to Reproductive Health Care in New York State Jails (NYCLU Survey)
End Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners
Shackling pregnant women during active labor and childbirth is, unfortunately, all too common in our nation’s prisons and jails. Through litigation and advocacy, the ACLU works to end this barbaric practice and protect the health of women prisoners and their babies.
Incarceration is Not the Answer
A pregnant woman suffering from drug addiction or other substance abuse and health conditions needs medical care not incarceration. In recent years, we’ve seen numerous instances where the state has detained and incarcerated a drug-dependant pregnant woman or has used the threat of jail time or removal of her children to force a pregnant woman into medical care against her will. Such punitive approaches to treating pregnant women are not only unlawful they deter women from seeking needed medical care and social services.
> Civil Liberties Groups Ask Texas Court To Protect The Rights of Pregnant Women (7/29/2009)
> BLOG: Sex Discrimination in the Lone Star State (7/30/2009)
> BLOG: Locked up for Being Pregnant and HIV-Positive (6/17/2009)
> Ferguson v. City of Charleston: Social and Legal Contexts
> Ferguson v. City of Charleston: Supreme Court Decision
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