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The legislation would also prohibit corrections staff from asking pregnant women in their second or third trimester to squat or cough during strip searches. All vaginal exams would have to be done by a licensed medical professional.
While officials from the Georgia Department of Corrections and a representative for the state’s sheriffs departments said neither group has a policy of shackling, pregnant women told lawmakers it was done to them while they were incarcerated.
Activist Pamela Wynn told lawmakers she was routinely shackled during her trial in 2008 while being held in county jail in Lovejoy. When she was 20 weeks pregnant, she said she fell while shackled and miscarried.
HB 345 will only allow a pregnant inmate to be placed in wrist handcuffs in front of the body if corrections officials believe the woman poses a serious threat or is a substantial flight risk.