This card was sent out near Mother’s Day, but I thought I would share it now. The campaign was organized by the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, with a lot of other organizational partners.
The card was sent to legislators in Washington, DC. Here’s the main text of the card:GIVING BIRTH IN SHACKLES: ONE MOTHER’S STORY
In September 2000, the state of Ohio sentenced Arnita to sixty months at the Franklin County Correctional Center in Columbus, Ohio forconspiracy to distribute, a nonviolent drug offense. Nine months afterarriving in prison, Arnita gave birth to her son, Waki. Waki was born inshackles. Federal Marshals placed shackles on Arnita when she lefther cell to travel to the hospital, and these shackles were notremoved until she returned to the correctional facility two dayslater. During Arnita’s C-section, her leg was in metal shackles, chainedto the bed. Arnita remembers the attending physician asking theMarshal, “Do you really have to keep these shackles on?” The Marshalresponded, “Yes, it’s procedure.” Arnita stated that “during my two-daystay at the hospital, the handcuffs were always on, even when I went to the bathroom.”
Ending the cruel practice of shackling pregnant women in labor and childbirth is a Mother’s Day gift that we can give to honor all mothers and their struggles, to ensure that women give birth with safety, and to allow all our children to come into the world safe, healthy and with dignity. Please support the effort to end this cruel practice in our federal and state prisons.