Childbirth can be a frightening experience, but for women in the prison system, giving birth can be traumatic.
North Carolina is trying to make amends by ending its harsh practice of restraining women during childbirth. The News & Observer reports that the new policy signed this week specifies that hand or leg cuffs cannot be used while the mother is in labor.
The change comes after years of urging from activists and doctors.
This is a major issue facing black and Latina women since they are more likely to be jailed and more susceptible to complications during their pregnancy, during or after childbirth.
The practice isn’t isolated to one part of the country either. There are similar horrifying stories about women being shackled during and after childbirth in states like Wisconsin, where three women are suing their correctional facility for restraining them to a bed before, during and after they gave birth.