Monday, July 21, 2008

Words For Warfare

I am a new mother to two children, born to me in the full dignity of how all of us as mothers want to bring our children into the world. I remember the intense joy of bringing life forward as my husband and family circled me, offering constant love and solace. My babies were brought into the world with all the honor, love and sacredness that every new life deserves.

Yet there is almost nothing sacred about how mothers behind bars give birth to their children. In most state prisons and jails, restraints are routinely used on pregnant women, including when they are in labor and when they deliver their babies. Only three states — California, Illinois and Vermont — have legislation regulating the use of restraints on pregnant women.


On this Mother’s Day, let us make a promise to all our mothers — especially those mothers behind bars, like Arnita — that we recognize their humanity, that we honor how women struggle and suffer, that we affirm the sacredness of all births and the need for all mothers to have the chance to give birth and raise their children with dignity, and that we end the unnecessary and cruel practice of shackling pregnant women.


--- Malika Saada Saar

4 comments:

BLKSeaGoat July 21, 2008 at 12:07 PM  

I love Malika! I had the opportunity to meet her at an awards banquet, where she was an honoree.

She was truly inspiring and so approachable.

Professor Tracey July 21, 2008 at 6:10 PM  

@BSG -

I am so jealous. This is one sister I would love to chat with. She should be blowing up on the national scene and folks still don't know who she is. She should be working on Barack Obama's campaign.

BLKSeaGoat July 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM  

PT,

This is why we have to get you in DC! Malika was a stellar student at Georgetown Law Center. In fact, she was still a law student when she founded the organization that she now runs.

She is definitely one bad sister and I know that you two would enjoy each other's company because you're both so smart AND common-sensical.

sevenofnine July 23, 2008 at 3:13 AM  

Thank You Professor Tracy for introducing me to sister Malika!
She is doing such important work!
In this country rich addicts get drug treatment, while poor addicts get jail time! Sister Malika's REBECCA PROJECT puts the spotlight on this injustice and is working to even the playing field. I'd like to help her!

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