Incarcerated individuals face unique barriers to health care, and those who are pregnant and postpartum are at increased risk of negative health outcomes.

Our Position

ACOG advocates for access to high-quality, comprehensive care, limits on the use of restraints on pregnant and postpartum individuals, and humane treatment of those in immigration detention facilities.

Improve Access to Comprehensive, Quality Care

ACOG advocates for:

  • Comprehensive, quality, and gender- and trauma-informed care for individuals who are detained or incarcerated
  • Preventive, behavioral health, and pregnancy-related care, reentry services, and access to necessities such as menstrual products
  • Breastfeeding support and adequate contact visits with children

Limiting the Use of Restraints on Pregnant and Postpartum Women

ACOG supports policies restricting the use of shackling on incarcerated people throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery, transport, and postpartum recovery. Shackling interferes with the ability of clinicians to safely practice medicine and may put the health of the pregnant person and fetus at risk. If restraint is needed, it should be the least restrictive possible and should never interfere with leg movement or the pregnant person’s ability to break a fall. Hover over this map for an overview of anti-shackling protections in your state.


Optimal policies also:

  • Give physicians the authority to remove restraints
  • Address privacy concerns
  • Require correctional staff to document instances of shackling
  • Apply to juveniles as well as adults

For more information about your state’s law, access our list of state-by-state provisions limiting the use of restraints for pregnant and postpartum individuals.