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Friday, January 13, 2006Fresh 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!)