Sunday, April 15, 2007

Breastfeeding Legislative Update

Tanya Lieberman, host of The Motherwear Blog, has done an excellent job of summarizing recent breastfeeding-related legislation. So much so, that I don't feel like I need to do my own, which I was - sort-of - working on. I do have a couple additions to the list, below.

La Leche League maintains a Summary of Proposed Breastfeeding Legislation; however it is not as complete as one would like.

Texas - The September, 2006 issue of ParentWiseAustin covered the state's NIP statute thoroughly:
What’s the big deal about breastfeeding in public? The law, that’s what. Although it protects a woman’s right to breastfeed in Texas, few folks know about it and, even if they do, they don’t necessarily have to follow it. We explain why beginning on page 8.
Excellent reading. I even learned some things, such as the fact that a woman who feels that her right to breastfeed has been interfered with can file a complaint with the Texas Department of State Health Services , which "responds to complaints by sending a letter to the facility where the alleged violation occurred, explaining the law and encouraging the owner or manager to inform employees about it." They get about 2 or 3 complaints a month.

Also, the Texas DSHS has a number of brochures and other breastfeeding information which can be ordered or downloaded, including a "licence to breastfeed in public" card.

Wisconsin - Assembly Bill 104/Senate Bill 30 would guarantee the right to breastfeed in public and put in place a fine not to exceed $200 for interfering with a breastfeeding mother. Also, the city of Madison approved a breastfeeding ordinance in January.

Internationally, Chile passed a law this year giving mothers the right to breastfeed their child at work; and the city of Toronto is hoping to raise public awareness of the protected nature of nursing in public.


tanya@motherwearblog said...

Thanks for the link! Nice to hear about Toronto and Chile, too.

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