ST. LOUIS, Mo. – After a unanimous vote, Board Bill 212 has made it out of the Public Safety Committee at the Board of Aldermen and will now go to the full Board for perfection and final passing. Board Bill 212 will protect the reproductive rights of incarcerated individuals.
“The Public Safety Committee made great strides to protect incarcerated people today by passing Board Bill 212,” said Leah Boersig, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Board President. “We look forward to watching this bill make its way through the full board and heading to the Mayor’s desk.”
Board Bill 212 was introduced by sponsor Christine Ingrassia of Ward 6 on Friday, January 11. Ald. Pam Boyd, Ald. Megan Ellyia Green, Ald. Cara Spencer, Ald. Joe Vaccaro, Ald. Larry Arnowitz and Ald. Shane Cohn are cosponsors of the bill.
“Thank you to Public Safety for voting Board Bill 212 out of committee,” said sponsor Christine Ingrassia. “This proposed legislation affirms our commitment to women and infant health by ensuring quality prenatal and postpartum health care, placing restrictions on restraints, and requiring city jails to provide tampons or pads as needed for menstruating inmates. I commend our Corrections Commissioner, Dale Glass and City Sheriff, Vernon Betts, on being proactive partners in this conversation and to the many advocacy groups working on these issues each day. I look forward to passing this bill out of the full Board soon.”
The bill would require that the physical health needs of pregnant inmates are met, including providing for adequate nutrition, clothing, continued access to prenatal care and all other pregnancy-related health services while inmates are in custody.
The bill would also limit the restraint of pregnant inmates throughout their pregnancies and post-partum period while in custody. Additionally, the bill would require that adequate feminine hygiene supplies for all female and/or menstruating inmates be provided.
In 2018, the Missouri General Assembly passed protections for pregnant inmates at Dept. of Corrections facilities, but local governments were not included. Board Bill 212 aims to protect inmates in St. Louis.