We are eliminating barriers for incarcerated and detained individuals to receive quality and timely sexual and reproductive healthcare, instituting appropriate and clear written policies in all correctional and detention facilities, and helping more pregnant inmates learn about their rights to healthcare and services. Our affiliate has convened a new coalition, Reproductive Justice Inside (RJI), which is collecting stories from current and previously incarcerated or detained individuals of being denied, delayed, or provided poor sexual or reproductive healthcare while in the care/custody/control of the state.
In the 2019 legislative session, the RJI coalition worked to achieve passage of the following bill:
Senate Bill 809: Restrictive Housing Bill
- This bill was the first in the nation that prohibits placing pregnant, post-pregnant, or postpartum woman involuntarily in restrictive housing/medical isolation/infirmary/solitary confinement from the date her pregnancy is confirmed through an 8-week post pregnancy/post-partum period.
In the 2018 legislative session, the RJI coalition was instrumental in working to achieve the passage of the following bills:
Senate Bill 598: Menstrual Hygiene Product Bill
- This bill requires that all correctional and detention facilities in Maryland, including local centers used for temporary holds or ICE detention, provide menstrual hygiene products to those in their care, custody and control, free of charge and in the quantities they need and upon request.
Senate Bill 629: Pregnant Inmates Bill
- This legislation requires that all correction and detention facilities to develop written policies regarding their medical care and services for pregnant individuals, covering the following topics: pregnancy testing, pregnancy options counseling, prenatal care, high risk pregnancies, miscarriage management, abortion care access, labor and delivery, postpartum care, counseling and social services and the prohibition of the use of restraints. Additionally, this legislation requires each facility to provide an inmate with a positive pregnancy test result a copy of the written policies.