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April 30, 2020

BIRTH RIGHTS: A resource for everyday people to defend human rights during labor and birth

Responding to multiple requests for information and guidance, National Advocates for Pregnant Women and the Birth Rights Bar Association have created a resource for people who encounter mistreatment, abuse, and human rights violations during childbirth. Unfortunately, when people experience a violation during childbirth it can be particularly hard to find legal redress for the harms they experience. That is why we want pregnant people and their supporters to have their own tools for recognizing and responding to violations.

In addition, this resource is particularly timely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As our health care structures struggle to meet people's needs, as inequities are magnified, and as politicians in some states use the pandemic as an excuse to deny pregnant people the right to an abortion, we know that those who are continuing their pregnancies are also facing new barriers and unparalleled uncertainty. As a result, it is more important than ever for everyday people to have resources to prevent and/or respond to human rights violations during childbirth and beyond.

Please watch for our Spanish-language version coming soon. And please share the resource with your family, friends, colleagues, and social networks.

Download: BIRTH RIGHTS

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April 24, 2020

Thank you New York State Attorney General Letitia James

NAPW recently sent a thank you letter to New York State Attorney General Letitia James to thank her for her efforts to ensure women across New York and the nation are able to access safe, legal abortions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis as part of the multistate coalition of 21 attorneys general. If you live in one of these 21 states, please send a thank you letter or email to your Attorney General. In addition to thanking your AG, you can also ask or suggest other actions they might take.

For example, in our letter to AG James, we used this opportunity to ask her to take the lead to address the criminalization of midwifery in New York and exercise her leadership to help those who want to continue their pregnancies and give birth. You can read the full letter here. and NAPW's factsheet about New York State Midwifery Licensure and the Prosecutions of Midwives Elizabeth Catlin and Melissa Carman here

Open letter to Oklahoma Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd

After learning that Oklahoma Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd is continuing to misuse his office to prosecute women who are pregnant and alleged to have used controlled substances, NAPW engaged local and national experts to call on district attorney Ladd to drop the charges. More than 50 signatories, including leading medical organizations, health care professionals, and public health advocates, have joined together to demand that he end the counterproductive and unauthorized prosecutions of pregnant people in his district. This demand is particularly urgent in light of the risks of contracting COVID-19 in prisons and jails. Read the open letter to the Oklahoma Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd here

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