March 22, 2016

Voices for Planned Parenthood at Cornell Campaigns for Imprisoned Women

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Cornell’s chapter of Voices for Planned Parenthood (Vox) has received nearly 100 signatures on a letter urging the New York State Senate to prohibit solitary confinement for pregnant women, according to the group’s Facebook page.

Vox’s letter-writing campaign aims to pressure the State Senate into passing Senate Bill S5729 on to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill would prevent the state from placing pregnant prisoners into solitary confinement, except under exceptional circumstances, according to the senate’s website.

The organization’s letter urges the Senate to pass the bill because solitary confinement “jeopardizes the physical and mental health of pregnant women,” according to the letter.

“Inmates in the Special Housing Unit are more likely to experience self-harm, anxiety, and depression,” the letter reads. “This environment is detrimental to the mental and physical condition of a pregnant female inmate and her baby.”

Vox’s campaign also hopes to highlight the lack of reproductive health education available to women in New York’s prison system. Imprisoned women are also not given adequate access to contraception and sanitary supplies, according to the letter.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-NY) and six other New York State senators, according to the senate’s website.