Alderwoman Ingrassia introduces incarcerated women’s health board bill to St. Louis Board of Aldermen

NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri worked with Alderwoman Ingrassia to draft the bill

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia (6th Ward) introduced Board Bill 212 today, which is aimed at improving conditions for incarcerated women. The bill would require that the physical health needs of pregnant inmates are met, including providing for adequate nutrition, clothing, continued and adequate 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 2019, we’re making it a priority to pass proactive legislation to protect women and families at all levels of government, and we’re proud to start with this Board Bill,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Board President Leah Boersig. “Women deserve to receive the healthcare, conditions, and supplies they need to have a healthy pregnancy and family while incarcerated.”

“Inequities surrounding women’s health adversely affect women and families each day and we have the ability to address some of these issues at the local level,” says Ald. Ingrassia. “This board bill puts protections in place for incarcerated women who are pregnant and ensures high quality and free feminine hygiene care in our city jails as a first step towards equity. I would like to commend Corrections Commissioner Dale Glass and Saint Louis City Sheriff Vernon Betts, along with the group stakeholders working in women and children’s health for working with me on this important piece of legislation.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri worked with Alderwoman Ingrassia and the National Institute of Reproductive Health to draft Board Bill 212.

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.