Daily Archives: Sunday, 7 November, 2010

Guess the Benighted Wasteland III

Lately I’ve read a few articles about a country where female prisoners are kept in shackles while they give birth. It’s pretty shocking and appalling. It’s hard to imagine that there are places in the world today where women are treated so badly, as if they are something less than full human beings.

For example, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is an international bill of rights for women that came into force on 3 September 1981. Of the 192 countries that belong to the United Nations, just seven haven’t ratified the CEDAW, and the country I’m talking about is one of them.

The American public has hardly heard of this outrage. It’s kind of surprising that they are not up in arms, especially those who are loudest about the rights of “pre-born” people and who exalt motherhood as both God’s greatest gift and also fitting divine retribution for slutting it up. Maybe because these outrages are happening so far away.

Just read that women can be forced to give birth in leg irons in 22 states around the world! 22 foreign countries–wait, hold on a minute…22 of these United States. My bad.

Arizona, for example.

The dangerous criminal woman had to be shackled because she was so dangerous. After all, she

owed more than $1,000 in fines for driving without a license and had a misdemeanor shoplifting charge.

Or exotic Illinois, where our Kenyan/Indonesian president hails from, when he wasn’t traveling back and forth through time. This article has a money quote:

One woman describes her male guard ignoring her pleas while he sat nearby watching the NBA finals. He left the room only when the baby crowned, but her leg shackles stayed on.

Dubuque, Iowa, had a case of this not too long ago. The villainous master criminal in question was a teenager who was wanted because she had stopped meeting with her parole officer for previous charges. Teenagers who blow off appointments are well known to have the strength of ten men, when they are distracted by pushing a baby through their birth canals.

New York.

From this article I linked to earlier (link here again for your convenience):

Even though the majority of these women are non-violent offenders, incarcerated for crimes such as shoplifting or drugs, many states allow shackling pregnant women as standard practice regardless of any real concern that the inmate might be dangerous or attempt an escape. The American Medical Association calls this practice “barbaric” and “medically hazardous.”

Restricting a pregnant woman’s ability to move can endanger both her health and the life of her newborn. A 1999 Amnesty International report revealed that shackled women might find themselves unable to push properly or spread their legs sufficiently for delivery. Pregnant women, already unbalanced by a massive belly with a growing fetus inside, are more likely to suffer a fall when shackled, harmful to their own health and potentially leading to miscarriage or a stillbirth. That’s why doctors, especially those who have seen the practice first-hand, have spoken out against the violation of reproductive rights and health.

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