Massachusetts Governor to Sign Executive Order Ending Shackling of Pregnant Incarcerated Women


Marianne Bullock
The Prison Birth Project

Governor Patrick announced today at a forum on public safety that he plans to sign a bill on anti-shackling as soon as it makes it to his desk. He also announced that he would file emergency regulations in an executive order that prohibits the shackling of pregnant incarcerated women while giving birth in the Department of Corrections and the House of Corrections in Massachusetts.

The Prison Birth Project supports ALL women in asserting their right to a safe, healthy and humane birth experience and applauds Governor Patrick in taking a step to end this archaic practice that continues across Massachusetts and the country. The Prison Birth Project has been working along side advocates in the Massachusetts Anti-Shackling Coalition to take action and urge the legislature to pass this bill. Our membership knows what it is like to be restrained during pregnancy and birth and want all incarcerated people in Massachusetts to be able to birth free of restraint, and with dignity.

We are united with the Governor in asking that legislators pass Anti-Shackling bill (S.2012), that was recently moved to the Senate Ways and Means committee. We look forward to joining the 18 other states across the country that are moving in the right direction in outlawing this practice.

The Prison Birth Project is a Reproductive Justice organization based in Western Massachusetts that is leading the charge in changing policies and perspectives of incarcerated women and mothers.