Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), alongside Senate HELP Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), reintroduced the Stop Shackling and Detaining Pregnant Women Act. The legislation would protect the health and safety of pregnant women and youth by reinstituting the presumption of release of pregnant women and youth in immigration detention, further prohibiting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from shackling pregnant women in its custody, and setting new standards of care and transparency for the treatment of pregnant women and youth.
The bill was first introduced last summer in light of reports of mistreatment of pregnant women in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, and was reintroduced on the heels of a recent Washington Post report about a women in ICE custody whose pregnancy ended in a stillbirth after she went into labor prematurely.
“This legislation would work to end the abhorrent, heartless shackling of pregnant women and would work to ensure that they have the medical care they need while in U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody,” said Senator Casey. “No individual in immigration detention should suffer mistreatment of any kind. I urge my colleagues to support this important measure so that we can help put this horrible practice to an end.”
The legislation is cosponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The Stop Shackling and Detaining Pregnant Women Act has been endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Women’s Refugee Commission, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, The Center for Reproductive Rights, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, Human Rights Watch, Church World Service, MomsRising, Amnesty International, Anti-Defamation League, March of Dimes, National Council of Jewish Women, Inc, and the National Women’s Law Center.
See one page summary HERE.
See the text of the Stop Shackling and Detaining Women Act HERE.