Politics & Government

Ban on shackling inmates during childbirth becomes law

Female prisoners no longer can be shackled during childbirth under a new law signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The bill bans the use of all restraints on inmates who are in labor or post-delivery recovery. It also limits restraints on pregnant inmates who are being transported to medical care or court proceedings while in the third trimester of pregnancy.

The law takes effect June 10. Officials say Washington is the seventh state with such a law.

The measure was proposed after a former inmate sued the state last year, saying her constitutional rights were violated when she was shackled while in labor.