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Interrupted LifeExperiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States$
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Rickie Solinger and Rebecca Sharitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520252493

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520252493.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Women’s Rights Don’t Stop at the Jailhouse Door

Women’s Rights Don’t Stop at the Jailhouse Door

(p.242) 46 Women’s Rights Don’t Stop at the Jailhouse Door
Interrupted Life

Rachel Roth

University of California Press

Incarcerated women won an important victory when a state court of appeals ruled against a county sheriff's unwritten policy requiring women to obtain a court order in order to be transported from jail to a clinic for an abortion. The unconstitutional policy was that of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who oversaw the jails in Maricopa County, Arizona. Across the country, correctional authorities make it difficult for women to obtain abortions, by forcing them to jump through bureaucratic hoops and refusing to pay for the abortion or even to take them to a clinic. Two important constitutional rights protect women's decisions about pregnancy and abortion. The right to choose abortion applies to all American women, and the right to adequate medical care is guaranteed specifically to people in prison, as part of the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. This chapter shows that prison authorities frequently suspend the constitutionally protected right to privacy of pregnant prisoners, denying or granting them reproductive autonomy according to the whim or the predilections of current prison authorities.

Keywords:   Joe Arpaio, Arizona, incarcerated women, abortion, pregnancy, medical care, right to privacy, pregnant prisoners, constitutional rights

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