The ACLU of Wisconsin today voiced support for the renewed legislative effort to prohibit correctional facilities from shackling pregnant people, people in labor, or postpartum.

Melissa Ludin, Coalition and Relations Advocate of the ACLU of Wisconsin, said the following: 

“A statewide ban on the shackling of incarcerated pregnant people is long overdue. No one should be chained to their beds while in the latent stage of pregnancy, during labor or while giving birth, surrounded by prison guards and completely isolated from those caring for them. It is a cruel, barbaric, and hazardous practice widely considered medically unsafe. And, in latent labor in particular, a person can be waiting at the hospital for hours. They should not be shackled.

Restraining pregnant people anytime increases their potential for physical harm from an accidental trip or fall. This also poses a risk of serious harm to the fetus, including the potential for miscarriage. During labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery, shackling can interfere with appropriate medical care and harm the health of the person giving birth and their newborn child.

We must pass a bill to join the 40 other states and Washington, D.C. that have restricted the use of restraints during labor and delivery. Pregnant people in jails and prisons deserve support, resources, proper medical care, and compassion. We are responsible for ensuring they are well taken care of, just as with any other pregnant person in Wisconsin.”