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Mississippi Legislature Reviews Breastfeeding Related Bill

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Fresh on the heels of a similar movement in Arizona, Mississippi lawmakers are preparing to review two new bills that have been introduced to the Senate to help provide breastfeeding mothers with protection from obscenity laws and to make it easier for working mothers to express breast milk on the job.

The bills are being backed by Senator Hillman T Frazier and Representative Alyce G. Clarke (who happens to be a Nutritionist).

The new bills target several key points:

1.) House Bill 256 and Senate Bill 2352 - Designed to require child care facilities and businesses to provide employees with:

  • A non-bathroom location with an electrical outlet and a comfortable chair for nursing or expressing milk.

  • A refrigerator for storing expressed milk.

  • Training of staff on how to safely handle and store human breast milk.

  • The right to express milk during lunch periods or breaks.

2.) Senate Bill 2419 - Designed to protect a breastfeeding mother from discrimination in public places. Points from the bill include:

  • The right of a mother to breastfeed in any location that she is otherwise authorized to be
  • Language stating that no local government can restrict the rights of a mother to breastfeed in public
  • A fine of up to $100 for any organization or company that attempts to restrict these rights
  • The protection of a nursing mother from obscenity laws, "disorderly conduct" laws, and "breach of the peace" laws
  • The right to be excused from jury duty for breastfeeding mothers

Gotta say, it's sort of exciting to see so much movement in so little time from a variety of states.

If you'd like to voice your support for the bill, please contact Senator Frazier and Representative Alyce G. Clarke at:

Senator Hillman Frazier
P. O. Box 1018
Jackson, MS 39215

Representative Alyce G. Clarke
P.O. Box 1018
Jackson, MS 39215

(and if you really want to make an impression, send you letter with one of the new breastfeeding advocacy stamps from The Lactivist store!)

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  1. Anonymous Jax | 9:45 AM |  

    Hm, strikes me that this:
    "The right of a mother to breastfeed in any location that she is otherwise authorized to be" could cause a problem with the type of rules you were discussing in the post about the swimming pool, especially where it says: "A fine of up to $100 for any organization or company that attempts to restrict these rights".

    So unless I'm misunderstanding, if you're allowed to be there, you're allow to breastfeed there, so you can't say that a no food rule means no breastfeeding too. Or am I reading too much into this?

    Just a thought.

  2. Blogger Jennifer | 10:07 AM |  

    That's a good question and I'd imagine it's open to interpretation by the courts. I read through the language of the bill again and can't find any qualifiers. My brain would think that it's "the right of a mother to breastfeed in any location that she is otherwise authorized to be ....." with the ... meaning eating/feeding/etc...

    But that's not what the law actually says.

    I know there are a few lawyers/ex lawyers that drop in from time to time...Kelly? You around? Can you shed some light on it for us?

  3. Anonymous mdp | 8:46 AM |  

    I'm a male and entirely supportive of 'lactivist' rights. My fiance isn't pregnant or nursing (thank god!) but when the time comes, I can't imagine anyone telling her that she can't breastfeed where ever she is. It's a shame the general public is so idiotic. I was reading the comments sent into BabyTalk about there last cover at CNN.com and appalled at te idiocy these people display. A lady breastfeeding her 3 year old complains about it. Doesn't that seem odd?

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