PROJECTCatalyst Grant Program




Rates of Criminalization of Pregnant People and Pregnancy in Fulton County, Georgia

Fulton County, GA

The majority of women who enter prisons are of childbearing age, have been pregnant before, and are more likely to experience risk factors for poor perinatal outcomes. In prison, accessing reproductive health care is a significant challenge. Black and Brown women in particular, who are disproportionately incarcerated, are at greater risk of having negative maternal and infant health outcomes. The very nature of being incarcerated undermines and violates bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom because it limits people from freely making decisions about their own well-being. Moreover, women involved in the criminal legal system are frequently overlooked in research, and despite their rapidly growing numbers, data available on them are extremely limited.

With Catalyst Grant funding, RestoreHER will evaluate the prosecution rates of pregnant people and people prosecuted for charges that would not have been applicable were they not pregnant. It will examine prosecution data over the past five years in Fulton County, Georgia, and incorporate demographic indicators to identify variations in the prosecution of pregnant people and pregnancy-related charges, such as who gets accused of child abuse for using drugs while pregnant. This important research will enable lawmakers and government officials to mitigate pregnant people’s interactions with the criminal legal system and better advocate for alternatives to incarceration.


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