2018 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Supporting Doula & Midwife Services for Incarcerated People
This legislation will require jails and the Department of Corrections to make reasonable accommodations for the provision of midwifery and doula services to inmates who are pregnant or have recently given birth.
Background: Doula care has been shown to increase healthy outcomes by reducing preterm births and the need for cesarean deliveries. All people, regardless of incarceration status, deserve to birth with dignity, respect, and support. Further, doula support has the potential to mitigate the cycle of incarceration, giving birthing people the opportunity to safely process the intense experience of childbirth.
Update: Victory! The House passed HB 2016 unanimously on January 18th, and the Senate passed it unanimously on February 27th! Governor Inslee signed HB 2016 into law on March 13, 2018.