NASHVILLE: Rethinking Prisons through the Lens of Reproductive Justice (Fri, May 3)

Friday, May 03, 2013
9:15AM - 10:45AM

Rethinking Prisons conference
Vanderbilt University, Buttrick 206

If you're in Nashville or will be there for the Rethinking Prisons conference, join independent scholar and Soros Justice Fellow Rachel Roth, WORTH member Mercedes Smith and me as we examine the ways that imprisonment undermines reproductive justice by compromising women’s health and family relationships.

We will examine the experience of mothering from behind bars and the ways that the increase in women’s incarceration has extinguished the right of many women, particularly low-income women of color, to be mothers. We will also explore the obstacles to safe and healthy pregnancies as well as to abortion access for women in jail and prison. We will emphasize steps that outside supporters and advocates can take – and have taken – to help ensure access to reproductive health care for people in women’s prisons and to protect the legal rights of incarcerated parents.

Let's avoid falling into the trap of supporting prison expansion under the guise of “caring about women” while still pushing for reforms that address women’s immediate and concrete needs.

Instead, what are the campaigns to end the shackling of incarcerated pregnant women during labor and delivery and campaigns to preserve the parental rights of incarcerated women?