A bill that would set in place humane rules for the restraint of incarcerated pregnant women in correctional facilities across the state passed its last committee stop today and is on its way to a final vote on the House floor.
The bill, which is sponsored by state Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa, passed unanimously in a House judiciary committee today.
If passed, the law would set standards that would prohibit the shackling of a woman in labor and create uniform and humane standards for all jails, prisons, and detention centers in Florida. Advocates for women’s health have supported the bill because it would protect the health of pregnant women who are incarcerated across the board.
The bill has already passed in the state Senate and now only requires passage in the House before it makes its way to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.
Last year, a similar bill passed in the Senate and through all its committee stops in the House but was never brought to a final vote in the House before the legislative session ended.