Here are five things you may not know about being pregnant and incarcerated.
1. Thousands of incarcerated women are pregnant, and access to prenatal healthcare in prison is abysmal.
2. There are huge barriers to getting an abortion while incarcerated.
3. Pregnant women who are incarcerated often have to deal with dehumanizing, dangerous practices like shackling.
4. Giving birth while incarcerated can be a nightmare.
5. Mothers are separated from their newborns almost immediately.
The bottom line is the way we deal with pregnant and laboring mothers in prison is simply not working. It's inhumane, unhealthy, and traumatic.
One program in Indiana has established a nursery so incarcerated moms can take care of their newborns, bond with them, and avoid the trauma of separation. Studies have found that the kids in these types of programs face fewer mental health problems, and the moms are less likely to return to prison.
To read more of Natalie San Luis' article, please click here.