New Breastfeeding Bill Could Mean Legal Action Against Those Who Tell Moms to Stop

Thank You! 68

breastfeeding

When a breastfeeding mom is discriminated against, there are nurse-ins or petitions to end the injustices we face. Sometimes we make enough noise to make a change, but more needs to be done. Texas House of Representative member Jessica Farrar wants change, too. She introduced HB 1706, a bill that would essentially make it a crime if a person harasses a woman breastfeeding in public. It is already law in Texas that a mother has the right to breastfeed her child in any location she is authorized to be. But yet there are still stories in the state of a nursing mom kicked out of a women's gym to spare children and another told to stop breastfeeding at a Houston Target. And sadly, a Texas judge recently ruled that there was no discrimination against a mom who was fired for asking for a place at work to pump.

Something BIG has to happen in Texas for breastfeeding moms to get the respect they deserve and Farrar is working to make that happen.

This is actually the fifth time Farrar is filing this bill -- I love her persistence. I'm hoping that this time it goes through. Moms deserve it. Our children deserve it. It just seems ridiculous that breastfeeding moms need to worry about being harassed at all in this day and age, but it happens. It happens because of some people's warped sense of what is obscene. We do have a hotline we can call thanks to Best for Babes, who documents and supports moms who have be victimized by breastfeeding discrimination. Support is needed. And support by politicians is desperately needed.

If passed, this bill would mean that moms kicked out of an establishment for breastfeeding could sue or attempt to collect damages. I don't think we should think this means everyone is going to be sue-happy -- I see this instead as a major deterrent and eye-opener for businesses to realize that they need to respect and allow breastfeeding mothers. Sometimes fines are the only way to keep some businesses in check. Maybe the staff at these establishments will also be educated properly of the laws, and therefore never harass nursing moms for doing what they are allowed to do.

In addition to supporting moms who breastfeed in public -- whenever baby is hungry -- this bill also helps breastfeeding working moms, which is an action near and dear to me, and desperately needed in this country. HB 1706 would develop a "Mother-Friendly" worksite policy to support moms who need a proper place and time to pump.

I fully support Farrar and HB 1706 and am hoping Texas gets this passed so they can be an example for the rest of the country as well.

What do you think of the bill?

 

Image via Raphael Goetter/Flickr

breastfeeding, natural parenting

68 Comments

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nonmember avatar MommaMel

So sad about the "mother friendly worksite" since the Health Care reform act mandates that every employeer with over 50 employees MUST provide a clean space to pump and store breast milk that IS NOT a bathroom. Also, it should be a NATIONAL law that is illegal to harass a nursing mother-it is already in many states. I remember being in Wisconsin in an Airport and being harassed at the gate (mind you 22 years old flying alone for the first time in my life with my 4 month old)and almost not being allowed to stay in the airport because I refused to stop nursing my son until I handed the security guard a copy of their state law that said that the woman harassing me could actually be arrested...she didn't make the flight :)

abra819 abra819

Hmmm as a former breastfeeder myself and a full supporter of breastfeeding I'm a little uneasy about this law. We'll see what happens though.

nonmember avatar krelia

There will be a lot of moms who abuse the hell out of this law. I swear, some of them act like its the end of the world to practice a small bit of discretion

lobus lobus

Awesome.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

While this sounds like a good law in theory, reality is much different. Some women have absolutely no sense of decorum or appropriateness and will use this law to their advantage. 

jessy... jessyroos

mustbeGRACE: please, take a seat, troll...

nonmember avatar erj13

Why do mothers/parents think that the whole world should cater to them? I don't want to see this in public! (I'm a woman) Like another poster said some women refuse to be discreet. My question is WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO IT IN PUBLIC!?????!?!??!?

Caera Caera

Cover up, you disgusting breastfeeding exhibitionists. You give real breastfeeding mothers a bad name.

nonmember avatar Cass

Telling someone they have to stop breast feeding or leave? Should be illegal. Asking someone politely to cover up should not.

nonmember avatar IslandMomOf4

I think it will make some people think twice about harassing nursing Mothers. There's no reason to feel shameful or attempt to shame a Mother for nursing her child. It's sad to see so many women attacking other women. Exactly what in the hell do you think that milk comes in for?! Your body was designed to feed YOUR baby. Some women cannot breastfeed and that is why formula was invented. Too bad so many use it as their first option without ever even attempting to breastfeed.

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