The Georgia 2012 Legislative Session has already begun. In order to ensure that our policy priorities are met, we need to continue to mobilize, inform and demand policies that reflect our commitment to realizing freedom, dignity, and justice.
This year, our legislative imperative is to end the inhumane practice of shackling pregnant women who are incarcerated during transport, labor, delivery, and recovery. In coalition with medical providers, incarcerated women, activists, organizational partners, and elected officials, we are working diligently to pass HB653, The Giving Birth in Safety and Dignity Bill, which will help ensure dignity, wellness, and safety for women, children, and families in our state.
Shawanna Nelson was sentenced to six years in prison for credit card fraud and bad checks, she was 5.5 months pregnant at the time she was incarcerated. When she went into labor at the hospital her legs and arms were shackled to her bed despite the presence of an armed guard.