Shackling pregnant women during childbirth – Legislative update

Shackling pregnant women during labor and childbirth? Unbelievable? It’s true, it happens, right here in Washington State. Open Arms hopes the practice will be stopped.

Legal Voice describes what happens, the outcry (including harsh words from Amnesty International) and the legal complaint filed by Legal Voice here in Washington State.

Legal Voice has asked Open Arms to partner with them on bringing public awareness to this issue. To support their efforts, our Executive Director, Sheila Capestany, participated in a work group on this topic, presented as a panelist in a community forum on birthing as a reproductive justice issue, and presented with Legal Voice to policymakers a few weeks ago about the importance of the birth experience for women and babies and the needs of laboring women.

We believe in this issue and support the legislation.

The bill number is HB 2747. There will be a hearing with the House Human Services and Corrections Committee this Monday, January 18, 2010.

This is something Open Arms is following closely — we’ll keep you updated in future blog posts on this issue.

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