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Rhode Island and Breastfeeding, and an Ohio Mom is Ticketed For Breastfeeding While Driving

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Some tidbits for a snowy day here in the Northeast…
Rhode Island has a new law that allows women to breastfeed in public.
An Ohio mom was is headed to court for breastfeeding while driving. The reason… the child wasn’t in a car seat.
And here’s an essay in Salon.com about breastfeeding and dating.

Massachusetts Governor Signs Breastfeeding Law

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It’s official. My home state of Massachusetts finally has a law that protects a mom’s right to breastfeed in public.
Here’s the link to the story in the Patriot Ledger.
Now just two states left to go before moms have some protection everywhere across the country. Come on North Dakota and West Virginia.
But let’s raise this question…. Why are we talking about a mom’s right to feed? Really, babies have a need to eat, wherever, whenever. Isn’t that what this is really about?

Massachusetts State Legislature Passes Breastfeeding Bill

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I’m in Boston right now, excited to see that today, the MA State Legislature passed a bill that would protect a mom’s right to breastfeed in public. It’s now up to the Governor to sign it into action. To see what the law is in your state, click here.
And here’s the article from Boston.com:
Mothers who want to breastfeed their children in public would get legal protection under a bill that received final approval from the Legislature today.
The bill, “An Act to Promote Breastfeeding,” is headed to the governor’s desk after being enacted by the Senate, said Senator Susan Fargo, the Lincoln Democrat who championed the bill.
Currently, women who breastfeed their children in public could be prosecuted for indecent exposure or lewd conduct. If convicted, they could even be forced to register as sex offenders, Fargo said. The legislation authorizes breastfeeding in public places and makes it clear it is not illegal.
Massachusetts has been one of three states in the nation without such a law on the books.
“For something that’s so healthy and so natural and supported by so many health groups, it just makes so much sense” to pass the protections for breastfeeding, Fargo said.
“No longer will mothers be forced to feed their children in the restroom of a restaurant or mall. … Women who nurse should not be treated as second-class citizens,” Representative David P. Linsky, a Framingham Democrat who pushed for the bill in the House, said in a statement.
Proponents say breastfeeding is healthier for kids and thus reduces healthcare costs.
The bill now heads to Governor Deval Patrick’s desk. Fargo said she was confident he would sign it. No one answered the telephone this afternoon at the governor’s press office.

And now… I’m signing off. Happy New Year everyone.

Breastfeeding Bill Passes Massachusetts House

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Hooray for my home state of Massachusetts. Today the state is one step closer to protecting a mom’s right to breastfeed in public. From Boston.com:

The bill makes it clear that women who are breastfeeding can’t be charged with crimes such as indecent exposure or lewd and lascivious conduct, said Representative David Linsky, the Natick Democrat who championed the bill. It also makes it clear that places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, or stores — cannot prevent women from breastfeeding their children or tell them to leave the premises.
Supporters say Massachusetts is one of only three states that don’t have such a law.
The bill will now go to the Senate, where a slightly different version has already passed, said Linsky.
Linsky said he hoped the House and Senate could resolve the differences between the two versions by the end of the session and send legislation to the governor’s desk.

To find out about the laws in your state, click here.