A.R.S. 41-1443 (2006)
A mother is entitled to breastfeed in any area of a public place or a place of public accommodation where the mother is otherwise lawfully present.
Indecent exposure does not include an act of breastfeeding by a mother.
Click here for a printable version of these statues (formatted for printing on business cards).
I am so proud of the women that worked hard to get legislation passed in the state of Arizona, one who has become a beloved colleague. Little did I know that I would not have to be concerned about the states we would be traveling through on the first leg of our journey.
Ohio proved interesting. I wore my “I make milk. What’s your superpower?” nursing tee to breakfast one morning. The omelette chef looked at me sideways and said that he could not even begin to tell me the thoughts that were running through his head as he read my shirt. I told him that I wore it proudly because I had provided breastmilk for our four children. I should have asked him what his superpower was and taken the focus off of me, and put it back on him. Next time it happens, I will remember to do that!
Despite that little encounter, it has been a great relief to feel that nursing mamas and supportive coaches are making headway with normalizing breastfeeding. As a society, we are comfortable seeing mamas feed their babies with bottles. Why should nature’s way be more or less acceptable? I feel that it should just *be*.
So we continue our trek across the eastern states. Next stops: more Connecticut and on to New Jersey. I will continue to pray that our path is easy and the roads are clear, both for Daddy who is doing the driving and for Angelika as she continues to want to nurse without regard to time or place.
I did not make it a point to take "nursing pictures"; trust me when I tell you that I nurse discreetly by using blouses that are designed for a mom to breastfeed with modesty. (Thank yous to Talisha at Modern Mommy Boutique in Chandler, and to Momzelle, an online retailer with a brick-and-mortar store in Montreal, two of my favorite places to shop for stylish and functional nursing blouses).
I thought it would be interesting to note the difference in breastfeeding laws in the different states we have visited so far. A complete list has been compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures - I copied and pasted from their list.
I am happy to report that despite nursing in public across the following places (State ~ where we NIP), we have not gotten dirty looks (that I have seen anyway) or been asked to cover up with a nursing cover.
Note the difference in the amount and scope of breastfeeding laws…which state laws would you like to see in your area?
Illinois ~ Navy Pier (Chicago), American Girl Store (Chicago) and New Life Church (New Lenox):
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 20 § 2310/442 (1997) allows the Department of Public Health to conduct an information campaign for the general public to promote breastfeeding of infants by their mothers. The law allows the department to include the information in a brochure for free distribution to the general public. (Ill. Laws, P.A. 90-244)
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 705 § 305/10.3 amends the Jury Act; provides that any mother nursing her child shall, upon her request, be excused from jury duty. (Ill. Laws, P.A. 094-0391, 2005 SB 517)
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 720 § 5/11-9 (1995) clarifies that breastfeeding of infants is not an act of public indecency. (SB 190)
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 740 § 137 (2004) creates the Right to Breastfeed Act. The law provides that a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be; a mother who breastfeeds in a place of worship shall follow the appropriate norms within that place of worship. (SB 3211)
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 820 § 260 (2001) creates the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act. Requires that employers provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to employees who need to express breast milk. The law also requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk in privacy. (SB 542)
2011 Ill. Senate Resolution 170 recognizes the unique health, economic, and societal benefits that breastfeeding provides to babies, mothers, families and the community and resolves the state of Illinois to work to ensure that barriers to initiation and continuation of breastfeeding are removed and that a women's right to breastfeed is upheld.
Ohio ~ Rest Stop:
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3781.55 (2005) provides that a mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted. (SB 41)
Pennsylvania ~ Chick-Fil-A (Clarion) & Rest stop (Scranton):
Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 35 § 636.1 et seq. (2007) allows mothers to breastfeed in public without penalty. Breastfeeding may not be considered a nuisance, obscenity or indecent exposure under this law. (SB 34)
New York ~ Rockefeller Center (New York City), The East Deck (Montauk):
N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 79-e (1994) permits a mother to breastfeed her child in any public or private location. (SB 3999)
N.Y. Correction Law § 611 allows a mother of a nursing child to be accompanied by her child if she is committed to a correctional facility at the time she is breastfeeding. This law also permits a child born to a committed mother to return with the mother to the correctional facility.The child may remain with the mother until one year of age if the woman is physically capable fo caring for the child. (2009 N.Y. Laws, Chap. 411; SB 1290)
N.Y. Labor Law § 206-c (2007) states that employers must allow breastfeeding mothers reasonable, unpaid break times to express milk and make a reasonable attempt to provide a private location for her to do so. Prohibits discrimination against breastfeeding mothers.
N.Y. Penal Law § 245.01 et seq. excludes breastfeeding of infants from exposure offenses.
N.Y. Public Health Law § 2505 provides that the Maternal and Child Health commissioner has the power to adopt regulations and guidelines including, but not limited to donor standards, methods of collection, and standards for storage and distribution of human breast milk.
N.Y. Public Health Law § 2505-a creates the Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights and requires it to be posted in a public place in each maternal health care facility. The commissioner must also make the Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights available on the health department's website so that health care facilities and providers may include such rights in a maternity information leaflet. (2009 N.Y. Laws, Chap. 292; AB 789)
Connecticut ~ Stepping Stones Children’s Museum:
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-40w (2001) requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child and to provide accommodations where an employee can express her milk in private. (HF 5656)
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-64 (1997) prohibits places of public accommodation, resort or amusement from restricting or limiting the right of a mother to breastfeed her child. (1997 Conn. Acts, P.A. 210)
Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53-34b provides that no person may restrict or limit the right of a mother to breastfeed her child.
For a complete list of breastfeeding laws in the United States, click here.
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