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Arizona prisons allegedly forced pregnant inmates into induced labor

Alex Williamson
Getty Images

Multiple female inmates at an Arizona prison complex in Goodyear say corrections staff induced their labor against their will. Advocates say the practice is a human rights violation and a medical risk.

The women say medical providers at the Perryville state prison told them it was a policy of the Arizona Department of Corrections to induce labor for all pregnant inmates. That’s according to an investigation by The Arizona Republic. However, Naphcare, the state’s prison healthcare contractor, says they do not have such a policy and that any decision to do so is between the patient and their hospital OB/GYN.

David Fathi is an attorney for the ACLU.

“…Prison officials taking affirmative steps to interfere with a woman’s reproductive autonomy is completely unprecedented," Fathi said. "...In my 25-plus years of representing incarcerated people, I’ve never seen anything like this…”

For the last decade, the ACLU has led a class action lawsuit against Arizona’s prison system for the mistreatment of incarcerated people within the health care system.

Gov. Katie Hobbs recently announced the creation of a commission to study the state’s prison problems, including poor staffing levels and inadequate healthcare.

Bree Burkitt is the host of Morning Edition and a reporter for KNAU. Contact her at