Mamas Day Across Bars 2017

#MamasDayAcrossBars is breaking beyond the bars by celebrating the incredible strength and courage it takes to be a mama behind the wall each day. PBP is collecting messages to share with the mamas in our programs and community. Now we are asking YOU to help us break down the isolation and build community by flooding the jail and all of our social networks with #MamasDayAcrossBars messages. > READ MORE


Racial & Gender Justice Mission Statements

As a reproductive justice organization, the Prison Birth Project works within a framework of human rights and intersectionality. We understand that all identities and oppressions exist in complex ways for each of us, and that the criminal justice system is organized around these oppressions. We hold true that our experiences and identities are what make us human, and each of us deserves dignity, respect, and rights because we are human. Reproductive justice is experienced when our full selves, our families, and our communities have the support that we need to parent, or not parent with dignity and freedom from violence. Few of us experience this, and the reproductive injustices that many people face, particularly women of color, are amplified by interactions with the criminal justice system.

Prison Birth Project Members Speak-

pbp-member-art-hebrews13-3“Without PBP I would not have received proper nutrition and care.”

“I can be a woman and not an inmate.”

“They [PBP] come often and make me feel real.”

“We need support while we are here, so when we get out we can be leaders.”

“I don’t know what I would have done without [my doula]. She helped my family get things we didn’t have for the baby. She coached me during the birth. She gave great love and support to my family and me. Even though I was incarcerated, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the birth… [PBP’s support group] gave me support the whole way through, and it is still giving me support.”

“It doesn’t matter what I did to be in prison… I STILL desire to birth MY baby FREELY and with LOVE. The fact that pregnant women have the RIGHT to be FREE from restraint… and that MY story, my time, energy, and activism helped pass this LAW in a major way!!!” ~Kenzie, PBP member, anti-shackling leader

“The Prison Birth Project is a living model for putting Reproductive Justice into action. I love the way they act out and live the concept of intersectionality and demand the protection of human rights.” ~Loretta Ross, co-founder of the Reproductive Justice movement

Shackling is still a problem in MA-

The Boston Globe editorial page called on the Massachusetts Legislature to pass pending legislation to address this problem:
Screenshot of Boston Globe editorial
“WITH THE LEGISLATURE racing to finish its business before the current session ends, some bills are bound to fall by the wayside — which is where many of them belong. But other pieces of pending legislation shouldn’t get lost in the scramble. In rough order of importance, here’s the Globe’s take on how Massachusetts legislators should set their priorities before going on vacation… · Some Massachusetts correctional facilities have violated a two-year-old law that prohibits them from shackling female prisoners during labor. A new round of proposed anti-shackling legislation would strengthen the statute and help assure compliance.”

Take action to ensure that everyone has a safe, healthy pregnancy and birth experience.

Breaking-Promises-coverOn May 15, 2014, Massachusetts’ anti-shackling law was signed by the governor. Two years later, the rights of pregnant women in prison and jail are being violated.

Read more in our new report-
Breaking Promises: Violations of the Massachusetts Pregnancy Standards & Anti-Shackling Law

Read press coverage of our report: