Reproductive Health Locked Up: An Examination of Pennsylvania Jail Policies
Women incarcerated in Pennsylvania are legally entitled to reproductive health care, but none of the county jails that house women inmates in the commonwealth have adequate policies ensuring access to such care, according to a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. The report marks the first time jail policies about women’s reproductive health have been assessed across the state.
Originally designed with male prisoners in mind, jails have been slow to adapt to the dramatic shifts in the demographics of those incarcerated. The rate of incarcerated women nationally is growing at 11.2 percent annually – twice the rate of men. As a result, prisons have inadequate policies that do not take into consideration the unique needs of female prisoners.
The report exposes an uneven patchwork of health care policies in the 57 county jails in Pennsylvania that house women. Those policies often fail to address the most basic reproductive health services, such as pregnancy testing, prenatal care, screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and access to abortion services.
Read the full report: www.aclupa.org/issues/reproductivefreedom/reproductivehealthlockedup.htm