House panel votes to limit use of restraints on pregnant border detainees

House panel votes to limit use of restraints on pregnant border detainees
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The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved an amendment that would limit the use of shackles on pregnant women detained by immigration and border patrol.

“ICE has recently reported it has detained more than 500 pregnant women since December, and they are using shackling of pregnant women,” said Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Fourth-ranking House Democrat backs Trump impeachment MORE (D-Mass.), the amendment’s sponsor.

The American Medical Association, she continued, recommends against shackling pregnant women in their second or third trimester because it can increase chances of harming the fetus.

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The practice of shackling women was uncommon until the Trump administration imposed its zero-tolerance border crossing policy, Clark said, in part because women were not regularly detained prior to that. 

The amendment would still allow the use of shackling in extreme circumstances, such as for women who pose a clear flight risk or a danger to themselves or others.

The committee adopted the amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill by a voice vote with no opposition. The bill is expected to advance later in the evening.

The committee also adopted an amendment from Clark that would prevent ICE from destroying records related to potential sexual assault or other forms of abuse of individuals in ICE custody.