Samantha Rogers, a formerly incarcerated woman, recently spoke at a party celebrating the passage of AB 2530 (Atkins)—California’s new law that forbids the shackling of pregnant women in California’s state prisons, county jails and juvenile probation facilities.
“I was one of the women inside that was shackled. That is humiliating, you know, to be feeling like you are an animal in a cage,” Samantha said to the room filled with people who had helped fight for the hard-won victory. “Change is coming when everybody is aware what really happens behind closed doors.”
This was not an easy struggle—the bill passed unanimously in the legislature twice but was also vetoed twice. In this case, the third time was a charm and the bill passed unanimously to finally be signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The new law went into effect January 1, 2013. You can read AB 2530 here.
Samantha, along with other remarkable people and organizations who helped win this important victory, are highlighted in a new radio documentary, called Our Bodies, Our Stories: Reproductive Health Behind Bars created by Making Contact, a national radio series. The documentary highlights the words of women who have been pregnant while incarcerated, as well as activists who have fought to end the shackling of pregnant women. Read More