March 05, 2019

Wyden Joins Colleagues to Reintroduce Bill to Stop Trump Administration from Detaining and Shackling Pregnant Women

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today joined 24 cosponsors to reintroduce legislation that would protect the health and safety of pregnant women and youth in immigration custody.

The Stop Shackling and Detaining Pregnant Women Act reinstitutes the Obama-era policy that presumed the release of pregnant women and youth from immigration custody and further prohibits the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from shackling pregnant women in its custody.

The bill also sets new standards of care and transparency for the treatment of pregnant women and youth. The bill was first introduced last summer in light of reports of mistreatment of pregnant women in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, and was reintroduced on the heels of a recent Washington Post report about a woman in ICE custody whose pregnancy ended in a stillbirth after she went into labor prematurely.

“Sadly, it takes a lot to shock me in the Trump presidency, but the fact that his administration is detaining pregnant women is unconscionable,” Wyden said. “It’s common decency to ensure the health and safety of migrant mothers and children that cross our border, and this bill recognizes that basic value.”

The legislation, led by Sen. Patty Murray, is also cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Tom Carper, D-Del., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Chris Coons, D-Del., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The Stop Shackling and Detaining Pregnant Women Act has been endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Women’s Refugee Commission, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, The Center for Reproductive Rights, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, Human Rights Watch, Church World Service, MomsRising, Amnesty International, Anti-Defamation League, March of Dimes, National Council of Jewish Women, Inc, and the National Women’s Law Center. A summary of the bill is here.  Bill text is here.