ST.LOUIS, MO — Today, at the sine die session of the St. Louis Board of Alderman, Board Bill 212 was passed and will now head to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s desk for signature. Board Bill 212 will improve and protect the reproductive rights and health care access of incarcerated people by ensuring access to quality prenatal and postpartum health care, nutritious food, and tampons or pads.
“Today, St. Louis has once again proven its commitment to protecting and promoting reproductive freedom for all,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Board President Leah Boersig. “Thank you to the St. Louis Board of Alderman for passing Board Bill 212. As the Missouri legislature actively works to restrict reproductive rights across the state, St. Louis is leading the way to ensuring all people have access to a scope of reproductive healthcare. We look forward to continuing to work with the Board of Alderman to further improve the lives of incarcerated women, including seeing the end of shackling incarcerated women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.”
Board Bill 212 was introduced by sponsor Christine Ingrassia of Ward 6. 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.
“This new law affirms our commitment to ensuring high quality prenatal and postpartum health care,” Ald. Christine Ingrassia said. “I commend our Corrections Commissioner, the City Sheriff, and my colleagues on being partners in this important work moving health and dignity forward in the City of St. Louis. Thanks to NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri and NIRH whose guidance and expertise were key to ensuring this legislation was the best it could be.”
“I’m thankful to my colleagues at the Board of Aldermen for passing Board Bill 212,” Ald. Cara Spencer said. “This proactive bill is the first step to improving the reproductive health of incarcerated women, including pregnant women, by providing quality prenatal and postpartum health care and ensuring access to nutritional meals, adequate clothing and menstrual products.”
“The National Institute for Reproductive Health is thrilled to see joint efforts by activists and elected leaders to improve reproductive health care and recognize the critical importance of serving our most vulnerable populations,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “At a time where the future of reproductive rights are uncertain at the federal level and in many state legislatures, it’s especially critical for leadership at the local level to step up to provide the access to health care that everyone needs.”
Additionally, Board Bill 212 will limit the restraint of pregnant throughout their pregnancies and post-partum period while in custody.
In 2018, the Missouri General Assembly passed protections for pregnant women who are incarcerated at Dept. of Corrections facilities, but local governments were not included. Board Bill 212 aims to protect people who are incarcerated in St. Louis.
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization in Missouri, and we believe that every woman should be able to make personal decisions about the full range of reproductive health options. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri works to protect every woman’s right to access the full range of reproductive health options, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local levels to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.