The Reentry Coalition has recently signed on in support of the Dignity Act, HB 1419 advocating for reproductive justice for people incarcerated in Pennsylvania. We invite any and all members of PRC to sign on as individuals or on behalf of your own organizations.
Please note: The message below is from Madusa Carter and the Dignity Act Now Collective. They are seeking organizations to join a sign-on letter to state House leadership, urging them to pass the Dignity Act, HB 1419, this fall.
Pregnant incarcerated women, trans and non-binary people across Pennsyvlania need Reproductive Justice now! To win this, we invite you today to stand with us and pass the Dignity Act, PA House Bill 1419.
Reproductive Justice is under attack at every level of government right now, positioning incarcerated pregnant people underneath the whims and political theater of many lawmakers that have never understood or invested in their lives. 80% of women in jails are mothers, and most of them are primary caretakers of their children. These children carry the failures of our brutal and heartless carceral systems. If we do nothing, many more parents, children and families will continue to be humiliated and harmed in a system we pay for.
The Dignity Act, at its core, is about Gender Justice and Prison Abolition work uniting to build the road of freedom and healing for incarcerated pregnant people. Currently the state of Pennsylvania allows expecting parents to be put in solitary confinement, face limited access to hygiene products and be denied basic support to prepare for bringing a child into this world. These pregnant women/trans/non-binary people walk alone through a violent system that disregards the sacred transformation they are going through. This Bill is about listening to and supporting the most underserved and vulnerable people in our state, centering folks of color, mothers and caregivers surviving in a broken judicial system. The Dignity Act is designed to immediately lift some of these dehumanizing and unthinkable burdens off of incarcerated, pregnant Pennsylvanians.
The good news is The Dignity Act passed the House Judiciary Committee in May!! We celebrate the unanimous passing of the Dignity Act in committee this year and know together we can get it voted on, on the floor and then to the state Senate. Because there is not a dollar amount tied to the changes this bill is proposing, it has a strong chance of success with the right support. The Dignity Act only will see the light of day if we lift up a people powered movement, dedicated to winning this legislation and future legislation for women/trans/non-binary people.
The hard truth is that rising, unjust incarceration is not going to dismantle itself. We must do the work. We believe in freeing all of our people. Until we win that freedom, we intend to end situations that exacerbate trauma, harm and confinement.
Will you stand and win with us?