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Thursday, March 16, 2000

Legislature 2000

Bill advances that
allows breast-feeding
in public places

By Rosemarie Bernardo


The Senate Health and Human Services Committee has passed a House-approved bill allowing mothers to breast-feed in public places.

The Legislature can set a tone for encouraging family-friendly policies," said Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee.

"This is one way of doing that."

"A lot of mothers feel uncomfortable breast-feeding in public," said Melanie Gambrell, mother of four. "I would like mothers not to feel threatened anywhere they are to nurse their baby."

Yesterday, Rose Schilt, executive director for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, said, "It's a natural function."

In submitted testimony, Schilt said, "In the course of a day's public activities, breast-feeding women and their infants should never feel forced to choose less-acceptable options of breast-feeding in restrooms, closets, or cars, or in such a way as to attempt to be publicly invisible."

The bill has been sent to Senate Judiciary Committee.

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