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Lobby for Breastfeeding Legislation in Washington, DC and Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Law
I may be in New York now, but I still consider Massachusetts my home. So it’s heartening to see the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition pushing state legislators to enact laws to protect breastfeeding. Right now the Bay State is one of four states that has absolutely no law whatsoever that addresses breastfeeding. But that could change. One of the bills pending now protects a mom’s right to breastfeed in public.
The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition has planned a breastfeeding lobbying day on Wednesday, May 9. For more information email advocacy@massbfc.org
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
10:00 am – noon
State House Room 109
Federal Law
If you’d like to see some change on a federal level head to Washington, DC on May 10th for a nurse-in. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is re-introducing the federal Breastfeeding Promotion Act on May 10, 2007.
WHEN:
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
WHERE:
Cannon Terrace
New Jersey and Independence Ave., SE
Washington, D.C. (Capitol Hill)
INCLEMENT WEATHER ROOM: TBD
Here’s a summary of the Act, courtesy of Angela at Breastfeeding123
The Breastfeeding Promotion Act (1) amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect breastfeeding by new mothers (specifically the Act expands the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to protect breastfeeding and expressing milk in the workplace), (2) provides tax incentives for businesses that establish private lactation areas in the workplace, (3) provides for a performance standard for breast pumps, and (4) allows breastfeeding equipment to be tax deductible for families.



3 Responses to “Lobby for Breastfeeding Legislation in Washington, DC and Massachusetts”

I am glad to see this! I was just researching state law this weekend and noticed Massachusetts wasn’t on the list. We travel to the Boston area quite frequently, and there is a chance we may need to move there next year.
Oddly enough, one of my most memorable, positive experiences was nursing my son in Boston last August. It was at the Faneuil Hall marketplace and I didn’t feel comfortable going to an “out of the way” spot. As I was nursing him, I had one lady say “God bless you”. I also had a nice conversation with one of the street performers as he was setting up. No one cared!
Still, it would be nice to have a law to help protect nursing mothers.

You know what? I find it disheartening that there would even be issues with a mom feeding her baby anywhere. You may not ever be in the most perfect area when a baby is hungry. Its a natural function of the human body, and breasts produce milk for a reason.
It just upsets me that laws can try to regulate where and when you feed your baby.
I worked in a restaurant for 3 years. One woman became pregnant, and breast fed. She would take a break at certain times to pump. Where? IN THE BATHROOM!! The employee bathroom. There were many other private places for her to do so, but she had to in the dirty, germy, gross employee bathroom.

Just a correction – there are currently four states, not three, that have no breastfeeding law whatsoever: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and West Virginia. The National Conference of State Legislatures site is woefully inaccurate. The most frequently updated and most accurate link on breastfeeding statutes is http://llli.org/Law/LawBills.html . I strongly encourage everyone to read her own state law as many of those that do exist frankly aren’t worth much.
Jake Marcus, J.D.
Legal Director
Birth Without Boundaries, Int’l

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