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Arizona Lightens Up on Women in Labor

PHOENIX (CN) - Arizona's governor on Wednesday signed a bill that prevents jailers from shackling women during labor, delivery, postpartum recovery, or transportation to a hospital to give birth.

Arizona became the 15th state to bar what the ACLU called an "inhumane and unconstitutional practice."

SB 1184 allowed corrections officials to use the least restrictive restraints necessary. It passed unanimously in the state House and Senate and Gov. Jan Brewer signed it Wednesday.

"The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Correctional Association, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association all condemn the practice of shacking pregnant women," the ACLU said in a statement. It added: "The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2009 that the practice was considered cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment."

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