Utah and three other states are trying to pass laws during their current legislative sessions that will ban shackling inmates during childbirth. More than 20 states have passed laws against this once-common practice.
A new federal criminal justice reform law, the First Step Act, ends the practice of shackling women during childbirth in federal prisons. Proponents claim preventing women from moving during labor increases medical risks and there are no documented cases of women escaping during childbirth. About 12,000 pregnant women are incarcerated in U.S. jails or prisons each year, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. —Kiley Crossland