Pregnant Women in Custody Act

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 1, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 6878, Pregnant Women in Custody Act of 2022.

While Congress made important progress on this issue through the First Step Act, which prohibited the use of restraints on pregnant women in the Bureau of Prison's custody, more clearly needs to be done to protect pregnant women.

Many incarcerated women do not have access to the prenatal care they need. They are often unjustly placed in restrictive housing, which can lead to unfair and unequal treatment just because a woman is pregnant. Shockingly, this is still legal and widely used in Bureau of Prison facilities.

By passing H.R. 6878, we will establish a much-needed and long- overdue national standard of care to address pregnancy-related needs of incarcerated women while also ending the Bureau of Prison's restrictive housing policies for pregnant women.

Being incarcerated should not strip these expectant mothers of their dignity.

Mr. Speaker, I strongly support passage of this legislation and thank Congresswoman--and future mayor--Karen Bass for her leadership on this issue.