Prisons are a feminist issue.
Last week, the Supreme Court let stand a ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court that requires prisons to provide transportation for incarcerated women seeking abortions. It’s a blow to America’s Toughest Sheriff (TM) Joe Arpaio, who makes his male wards wear pink underwear because he believes that it feminizes them and makes them more docile. Cute, huh?
As Pamela Merritt makes clear in her RH Reality Check post today, prisons are a feminist issue not only because of abortion, but also because of the over two million people incarcerated in the US today, tens if not hundreds of thousands of them are mothers, caregivers, pregnant, or the daughters of women who also found themselves in jail. But I’d argue that we’ve got to push further than Merritt does — it’s not just about protecting reproductive rights for incarcerated women. It’s also about recognizing that prison reform is important for women on the outside — and for their families and communities.