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Bill sets inmate birth standards

ST. PAUL - A bill is headed to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to sign into law setting guidelines for local and state officials to deal with inmates who are pregnant or new mothers.

"These pregnancies are often unplanned and high risk, compromised by the lack of prenatal care, poor nutrition, domestic violence, mental illness and-or drug or alcohol abuse," House bill sponsor Rep. Carolyn Laine, D-Columbia Heights, said before the House approved it 133-0. Senators passed it 59-0 last week.

Among other things, the bill would prohibit restraining a woman in labor, require a pregnancy test for every new women inmate 50 or younger, provide educational materials about pregnancy related topic and give access to mental health care. It applies to both state and local inmates.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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