The Lead

Senate passes protections bill for pregnant, postpartum incarcerated people

By: - December 13, 2023 5:03 pm
Close-up of a pregnant woman's belly in the hospital bed with catheter in hand

(Getty Images)

A bipartisan bill to provide protections for incarcerated pregnant and postpartum people passed the Senate on Wednesday with broad support. 

House Bill 900, sponsored by state Reps. Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia), Mike Jones (R-York), and Tina Davis (D-Bucks), unanimously passed the Senate with amendments. 

The bill, known as the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, would establish protections, such as prohibiting shackling and solitary confinement for pregnant individuals and providing trauma-informed training for corrections officers who interact with pregnant inmates, among other measures. 

State Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) applauded the House for advancing the bill in a speech Wednesday, urging a ‘yes’ vote on the bill. 

“The protection of women who are pregnant and are able to get the basic dignity, even when incarcerated, is incredibly important, it’s the kind of fundamental thing we should have done,” Street said. 

The bill moved quickly through the upper chamber, unanimously passing a Senate committee earlier this week before advancing to the full Senate for a vote. 

The bill now heads back to the House for concurrence on amendments. 

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