The Legislation Would Also Permit Nursing And Skin-To-Skin Contact Immediately Following Birth
February 14, 2019 – Daniel Island, S.C. – South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace today announced she filed legislation to prohibit the South Carolina Department of Corrections from restraining inmates during childbirth. It also prevents restraints on pregnant women and only allows wrist restraints under limited circumstances.
This bill would allow restraints only if there are reasonable grounds to believe the inmate poses an immediate, serious threat of hurting herself, staff or others, including the child; or that she presents an immediate or credible risk of escape. The bill would also permit a newborn child can receive skin to skin contact and nurse immediately following birth.
“As it stands now most states still allow for the shackling of prisoners during labor and delivery,” stated Mace. “The First Step Act, signed into law in 2018, ensures this practice ends in federal prisons. The South Carolina Department of Corrections houses more than 1,000 female inmates. As a state, we have no law in place to ensure an inmate is not restrained during childbirth; as proposed this bill offers compassion for the infant both during pregnancy and during labor and delivery. Additionally, infants reap enormous benefits when they receive skin-to-skin contact and are breastfed within an hour of birth.”
To learn more about Rep. Mace, please visit www.nancymace.org.
About Nancy Mace
Mace is a businesswoman, author and state legislator representing Berkeley and Charleston Counties for S.C. House District 99.