SAN Applauds the House for Passing a Bill To #StopTheShock

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ASAN applauds the US House of Representatives for passing the Food and Drug Amendment Act of 2022 (HR 7667) with a provision that would ban the use of the electric shock devices at the Judge Rotenberg Center. For decades, disabled advocates have fought to end the use of electric shocks at the JRC. The inclusion of the ban language in this bill is a critical step towards ensuring that no one is subject to torture in the name of “treatment.”

In 2020, after decades of advocacy from disability advocates, the FDA banned the use of electric shock for behavior modification. Unfortunately, the FDA’s ban was struck down on technical grounds in 2021. Now, people with disabilities are relying on Congress to fix this problem and ban the use of these harmful devices. The bipartisan effort to #StopTheShock was included in the House bill. 

The passage of the House Bill was preceded by crucial pressure at the state level through the introduction of a bill in the New York state legislature that would ban New York State from sending people with disabilities to the Judge Rotenberg Center. On Wednesday, May 4th, Sen. Jabari Brisport & Am. Harvey Epstein stood with disability rights advocates in announcing new legislation targeting facilities that use electric shocks on people with disabilities.The bill, “Andre’s Law,” is named in honor of Andre McCollins, a survivor of electric shock torture and other forms of aversive conditioning. Andre’s Law resulted in a huge state mobilization, the type of pressure that is key to finally putting an end to this barbaric practice. While the New York state legislature entered recess before the bill could be passed this term, the widespread, bipartisan support Andre’s Law garnered indicates the importance of similar legislation at the federal level.

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