An Unshackled Birth

February 22, 2021

An Unshackled Birth

By Susan Simensky Bietila

Susan Simensky Bietila has been a Registered Nurse as well as an activist artist for 50 years. She lives in Milwaukee, WI, and makes artwork in collaboration with movements for justice: for Health Care as a Right, Immigrants Rights, Midwest Indigenous-led movements to protect water from mines, pipelines and oil trains and in support of Public Education, and more. Her work is regularly published in World War 3 Illustrated magazine.


  1. “Wisconsin Senate Bill 316,” LegiScan, accessed January 28, 2021,
  2. Lori Teresa Yearwood, “Pregnant and shackled: why inmates are still giving birth cuffed and bound,” The Guardian, January 24, 2020,
  3. “First of its Kind Statistics on Pregnant Women in U.S. Prisons,” Johns Hopkins Medicine Newsroom, March 21, 2019,
  4. Jennifer G. Clarke and Rachel E. Simon, “Shackling and Separation: Motherhood in Prison,” AMA Journal of Ethics 15, no. 9 (September 2013): 779-785,