National Public Radio spoke with Dr. Carolyn Sufrin ’97 about bipartisan bill before Congress which would in part place a ban on shackling pregnant women in prison.
About two dozen states ban the practice of restraining incarcerated pregnant women during childbirth, but the First Step Act would apply to federal facilities.
The U.S. correctional system was designed with men in mind, said Sufrin, a medical anthropologist and OB-GYN at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who works with incarcerated pregnant women.
"When you have something as gender-specific as pregnancy, it reminds you of how flawed the system is and how ill-prepared it is to take care of pregnant people and the reproductive health needs of women in general," Sufrin said. "They're, if at all, an afterthought."