On Oct. 1, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act (H.R.7718), introduced by Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.

APA has supported this important bill since it was first introduced in 2018, which was developed with extensive input from APA members. This bill includes several landmark reforms including a federal ban on shackling pregnant incarcerated women, access to prenatal care and nutrition for incarcerated pregnant women, care for high-risk pregnancies, and a grant program to promote the health needs of incarcerated pregnant women across state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

APA has long called for the end of shackling for incarcerated pregnant women, and we are heartened to see the continued focus on removing this and other barriers to a healthy pregnancy for incarcerated women and girls. APA will continue to advocate for the Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act and encourages the Senate to take up this important bill.

For more information, please contact Sophie Friedl.