Legislation in Albany aims to protect moms in jails and prisons
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--THIS WEEK SOME LAWMAKERS AND ADVOCATES RALLY FOR A BILL CALLED THE COMPASSION AND REPRODUCTIVE EQUITY BILL OR THE CARE ACT.
THE legislation INTENDS TO PROTECT THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF PREGNANT AND POSTPARTUM MOTHERS AND their INFANTS IN JAILS AND PRISONS.
SOME LAWMAKERS SAid IT IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO PASS THIS BILL.
“Too often our system prioritizes retribution and punishment over the basic health and needs of women, pregnant people and their babies in New York but it doesn’t need to be this way,” said Sen. Julia Salazar (D-18th Senate District).
SEN. SALAZAR SAid PREGNANT INCARCERATED WOMEN OFTEN LACK PROPER PRENATAL, OBSTETRIC AND POSTPARTUM MEDICAL CARE.
SOME ADVOCATES HAVE EXPERIENCED THIS FIRSTHAND.
REBECCA FIGUEROA, WHO TRAVELED TO ALBANY TO TELL HER STORY, SAid WHEN SHE WAS INCARCERATED MANY YEARS AGO, SHE GAVE BIRTH WHILE SHACKLED TO A BED.
“The worst part of it all is that—I'm a mother of seven so giving birth to my child and you taking my baby from me. For a regular person, your baby goes right on your chest. I didn’t get that with my daughter,” she said.
FIGUEROA SAid SHE ALSO DID NOT receive PROPER NUTRITION AND CONSEQUENTLY COULDN’T PRODUCE ENOUGH BREAST MILK FOR HER BABY.
ACCORDING TO THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL and Prevention, A MOTHERS NEED FOR PROPER NUTRITION INCREASES WHILE BREASTFEEDING.
“So, I tried for a couple of weeks I wasn’t producing enough, I had to give her formula that is not what I wanted to do,” she said.
THE LEGISLATION CURRENTLY SITS IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY COMMITTEES.