Pregnant and Nursing Women Experience Citizen Harassment

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

Citizens arrests and harassments are taking place across the nation in attempts to limit and control the lives of pregnant and nursing women. Women’s actions are being circumscribed and limitations on the public spaces in which one can participate are beginning to affect women’s lives.

People are taking matters into their own hands in terms of the rights and safety of pregnant women. In one incidence, a pregnant woman was asked to leave a bar because she might get hurt. In another, women’s Facebook accounts were disabled for pictures of pregnant women and the first moments of a baby’s life that were labeled inappropriate. The perpetuation of the citizen’s arrest of pregnant, nursing, and “maybe-pregnant” women” is a silent cooptation of women’s choices, their health, sometimes their livelihoods, and sometimes their very lives by both groups and individuals who feel emboldened to act on their own to ensure women stay “in their place,” and to reinforce, however indirectly, the social norm that the value of a woman is in her womb.


Title: The Pregnancy Police and the Citizens’ Arrest of Pregnant and Nursing Women

Author: Jodi Jacobson



Student Researcher: Taylor Wright, Sonoma State University

Faculty Evaluator: Don Romesburg, Sonoma State University