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HB 363/ SB 630

by Representative Dianne Hart and Senator Shev Jones

The Dignity Power Coalition are the champions behind Ava's Law. The information on this page is from them and the advocacy work they've done on this legislation.

Ensures pregnant women who are incarcerated can give birth with dignity and have the opportunity to defer the imposed sentence until a certain time after delivery. This bill ensures that pregnant incarcerated women and girls in florida are treated with dignity, respect and humanity.

Source: Dignity Florida Coalition

For the Betterment of Florida's Women and Children

  • The Department of Health will collect pregnancy data relating to women incarcerated in correctional facilities and submit an annual report
  • Women will receive educational programming and resources to promote healthy parenting
  • Babies will be allowed the first critical 12 weeks with mother for family bonding and breastfeeding
  • Mothers will have time and opportunity to make placement arrangements for their babies which will reduce their anxiety not knowing who is caring for their babies and loss of parental rights

ELIMINATES costs for housing, perinatal, and nutritioalcare, high risk pregnancies, child placement, transportation to hospital/pregnancy doctor visits, staff required to be at hospital, providing "special diet", and additional staff (female.)

ELIMINATES liability exceptions for facilities UNCOMPLIANT with Florida law, pregnant women contracting COVID-19, not providing adequate perinatal care and reproductive education, women delivering in cells alone, life threatening infections, routine inductions, non-consented procededures, and maternal-infant MORTALITY.

Source: Dignity Florda Coalition

The Story Behind Ava's Law:

This catalyst for this bill is the terrible story of Erica Thompson who gave birth  in the Alachua County Jail where staff members ignored her screams that she was in labor.

Read the Gainesville Sun article for more of he story.