Pregnant Prisoners in U.S. Forced to Give Birth in Chains

[Holy Hormones Honey!  Discussions the ‘War on Women’  have neglected  to mention the war that goes on behind bars and in mental institutions….not just during election year – but everyday of the year.  Women are given Depo Provera in mental institutions not just to curb the ‘messy and disgusting menstrual cycle’, but insiders also say use of the hormonal injection allows male employees to rape while the woman is drugged.  And now to find out that pregnant prisoners are chained and shackled during labor?  What the hell are they going to do – try and escape in between contractions? According to Walshe, who has written yet another brilliant article, only 16 states in the U.S. have laws against chaining a woman during labor.  Can you imagine how traumatizing that must be?  Not to mentioned degrading and inhumane. The ‘War on Women’ is rampant.]

Women are born free in the US but everywhere give birth in chains

The Guardian

America is almost unique in the civilised world for forcing pregnant prisoners to undergo childbirth cuffed and shackled

Only 16 of 50 states in the US have any regulations or laws against the shackling of female prisoners during childbirth

In 2007, a 17-year-old girl called Cora Fletcher was charged with retail theft. Over a year later, after she missed a court date, she was sent to the Cook County jail, in Illinois. She was eight months pregnant at the time.

During a pre-natal check-up at the facility, her baby appeared to have no heartbeat, so she was sent to the county hospital. As the medical team tried to induce her, Fletcher claims that both her hands and both her feet were shackled to either side of the bed. Only when she finally went into labor, three days later, was one hand and one foot released. It’s hard to imagine a more crucifying way to force a woman to try to give birth.

Sadly for Fletcher, there was no payoff for the trauma and humiliation she was forced to endure, as her baby was born dead.

Fletcher was one of the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit brought against Cook County on behalf of 80 female prisoners and detainees who also claimed to have had similar experiences of being shackled during childbirth. Just under two weeks ago, the county agreed to a settlement of $4.1m dollars payable to the women, who will each receive between $5,000 and $45,000.

The Cook County sheriff’s office made it clear, however, that they were agreeing to the deal for expediency’s sake only and were admitting to no wrongdoing. This despite the fact that Illinois became the first state in the union to ban the practice of shackling women during labor, back in 1999 – at least seven years before any of the women named in the lawsuit had their babies. A spokesman for the department, Frank Bilecki, went so far as to issue a statement claiming the jail’s treatment of (female) detainees is the “most progressive in the nation.’

If that is the case, women in America better watch their backs.


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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.