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Roanoke Times.com: Barbaric to Cuff Women in Labor Letter to the Editor Print

BY Lee Fitzgerald, Fincastle

Created:  March 15, 2011

I did not know until I read Heather Rice's op-ed, "Giving birth in chains," in the Feb. 14 Roanoke Times that women who are incarcerated, for whatever reason, are put in chains if they go into childbirth labor. Rice wrote of what she observed during a hearing to halt the practice.

Del. Patrick Hope introduced a bill, HB 1488, that would have prohibited continuing the practice of shackling women during childbirth. However, the good ol' boys decided against the bill. They agreed with the delegate (unnamed) who stated that all female prisoners should be shackled during childbirth except in rare circumstances, and Hope's bill then failed in committee.

It is no secret that the mentality of too many male members of the General Assembly is medieval, but this is barbaric.