End detention of pregnant women in immigration centres

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has called on the Tories to end the detention of pregnant women in immigration facilities.

This follows UK Government revelations that that over 100 pregnant women have been held in immigration detention since July 2016, with one women being held for more than 4 days.

The Immigration Act which came into force on 12 July 2016, placed a 72 hour limit on the detention of pregnant women for the purposes of removal, extendable to up to a week in total with Ministerial authorisation.

For the period July to December 2016, 27 pregnant women were detained in the immigration detention; in 2017, 53 and in 2018, 23 women were held (to 30 June).

Of these women, one was detained for 102 hours.

Commenting, Angela said:

“It is a disgrace that the UK Government are choosing to lock pregnant women in immigration detention facilities.

“Pregnant women are uniquely vulnerable and will almost always have specific, and sometimes serious healthcare needs. Locking them in detention centres poses a severe risk to both their and their baby’s health.

“Given the risks attached to locking these vulnerable women in jail cells, there is simply no justification for the policy.

“Alongside the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Maternity Action, Women for Refugee Women & Medical Justice, I call on the UK Government to end this horrific practice.”