The former physician and current Republican Rep. Kristin Baker from Cabarrus County sponsored the new NC bill HB 608, Dignity for Incarcerated Pregnant Women. It aims to provide protections to incarcerated pregnant women and their babies. Specifically, the bill limits how shackles can be used on pregnant women. Specifically, pregnant women in the 2nd or 3rd trimester, during labor and delivery, and the six-week postpartum period.
The bill also specifies how pregnant women should be appropriately body searched, undressed, and provided ample nutritional food and hygiene products. HB 608 also calls for limited interaction with male correctional officers.
As far as healthcare goes, the bill states that “the pregnant female incarcerated person shall be provided necessary prenatal, labor, and delivery care as needed at no cost to the pregnant female incarcerated person” (Section (f), page 3).
Under the bill, restrictive housing for incarcerated pregnant women would be limited. It also calls for Correctional Facility employees to receive training on several things, including general pregnancy care, how restraints impact a pregnant person, and how restrictive housing impacts a pregnant person.