Women seem to be the main victims of the trend towards trans “inclusion”. Over the weekend, it was reported that a transgender inmate, housed in a women’s wing at New Jersey State Prison, impregnated two fellow inmates.
Like many US states, New Jersey last year introduced a policy allowing prisoners to be housed based on their gender identity, rather than their biological sex. Politics based on gender identity asks us to ignore biology in favor of mantras such as “trans women are women”. But of course, when an inmate in a supposedly women’s prison becomes pregnant, it becomes much harder to deny that one of the parties involved must be a man.
The father-to-be is Demi Minor, a 27-year-old man serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter. Following the pregnancies, Minor has since been transferred to a men’s prison. Yet there are still 26 male transgender prisoners at the New Jersey “women-only” facility.
Minor’s case was not the result of an oversight or a legal quirk. Activists have gone to great lengths to ensure that male criminals can be housed in women’s prisons. In 2019, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the state of New Jersey, arguing that transwomen should be considered women in all settings, including prison. Rather than go to court, the two sides decided to reach a settlement which spearheaded the change in policy. When the new policy was announced last year, the ACLU said: ‘This is truly historic. It’s something New Jersey should be proud of.
Thanks to the change, decisions about where inmates are housed must take into account “gender identity as well as the health and safety of the individual,” in the words of a security guard. word of the New Jersey Corrections Department. In other words, the feelings of male prisoners are considered paramount and must be taken into account. The “health and safety” of inmates, on the other hand, seems like an afterthought. This is all the more exasperating if we consider the profile of female prisoners, who, in the vast majority, tend to be victims of male violence.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case in the United States. Last year, California began making pregnancy and birth control resources available to female inmates in anticipation of a surge of new male prisoners entering its women’s prisons. None of this is normal. But under the banner of trans inclusion, we’re all meant to look the other way.
It should be obvious that prison is no place for a pregnant woman. A pregnancy in prison turns a difficult situation into an inhuman one. Fear of losing a child – before or after birth – is extremely common among pregnant prisoners.
In 2020, writing for the Center for Crime and Justice Center, researcher Rona Epstein describes what it means for a woman to be pregnant in prison:
“Where physical pain exists, little comfort is offered as women have to beg for a softer mattress or cry for pain relief to ease the normal discomforts of pregnancy. The physical suffering is compounded by their inability to satisfy normal cravings or relieve the normal discomforts of pregnancy. The hunger women felt often caused distress and suffering.
Yet that is exactly what we are exposing some of society’s most vulnerable women to – all in the name of ‘inclusion’.
It’s not hard to see why a male prisoner, whether he identifies as trans or not, prefers to serve his sentence in the female realm rather than among his peers. But what is difficult to understand is why society has decided that women in prison should be treated as acceptable collateral damage to meet this demand.
In order to appease a vocal lobby, determined to abolish biological sex, we subject women to cruel and unusual punishments.
Raquel Rosario Sanchez is a writer, activist and researcher from the Dominican Republic.
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