National Public Radio has a powerful story about women who were shackled in labor while they were in jail or prison.
In one of the most appalling segments, a woman described being jailed at 17, pregnant for the first time. Her fetus died, and she was taken to the hospital to induce delivery. The process took three days – and she was shackled to the bed the entire time.
She is one of the many plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Cook County, Illinois, where jail personnel shackle women in labor in violation of a state statute that bans the practice. Illinois was the first state to enact a law against shackling. These women’s stories are a powerful reminder that a law is only as good as its enforcement.
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