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Wednesday, February 22, 2006As much as we've had some annoying news on the breastfeeding in public front over the past few months, it's also been exciting to see state after state and city after city piling on to the pro-breastfeeding bandwagon by introducing new bills designed to protect the rights of breastfeeding mothers.
Kansas is the latest state to make this positive move, sending a new bill to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that will protect the right of women to breastfeed their children in public and exempting nursing mothers from jury duty.
The great news is that the bill passed the house in a 119-4 vote. The bad news is that the Senate tweaked the text of the bill to include the word "discreetly."
While I'm thrilled to hear about the new bill and applaud the Kansas legislature for moving things forward, I do worry a little bit about what that added word might do to the meaning. I suppose only time will tell as the language will have to be tested in court, but I can see plenty of folks claiming that breastfeeding isn't "discreet" unless you have a blanket over your baby. We all know that's not the case and that mother's rights to breastfeed need to be protected period...not protected when they're doing it the way that some random person deems "discreet."
So...congrats to Kansas...but let's keep an eye out. If anyone hears of this bill getting tested on that level, I'd like to hear about it so that I can keep Lactivist readers up to date.