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house Bill H.R. 1174

Should Publicly Accessible Federal Buildings Have a Lactation Room for Breastfeeding Moms?

Argument in favor

Breastfeeding mothers should have a clean, private lactation room available to them in federal buildings that are open to the public.

Richard's Opinion
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03/07/2017
But not as an exclusive place. Women should be able the feed her child anywhere she is comfortable doing so.
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Ashton's Opinion
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03/07/2017
I am a breastfeeding mother, and while I do typically nurse my son wherever I am, it would be nice to have a quiet place away to nurse him when he's easily distracted. Right now, if I need that, I have to go to my car, because a restroom is never the place to feed a child. That's just disgusting.
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Dana's Opinion
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03/06/2017
A lactation room would be wonderful but it shouldn't preclude a woman for feeding their child anywhere they need to.
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Argument opposed

Breastfeeding mothers can use a public restroom to nurse their child if they’d prefer to not breastfeed in a public space.

Greg's Opinion
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03/07/2017
A woman should be able to nurse her child where ever she chooses. A special room should not be necessary.
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Rebecca's Opinion
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03/06/2017
Women should be able to feed their babies anywhere they wish. I think it's great to give women private, clean, and quiet places to go, but my concern is that these places will become what is expected and women will lose their choice to feed their babies elsewhere.
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Shanna's Opinion
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03/07/2017
A woman should have the right to breastfeed wherever she may be. In her restaurant booth, by the fountain in the mall, etc. Requiring businesses to provide a separate room is redundant and a pretty clear example of government overreach.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • The house Passed March 7th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
    IntroducedFebruary 16th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 1174?

This bill would require federal buildings that are open to the public and have a public restroom to provide a lactation room that’s separate from the bathroom, is hygienic, and available for use by members of the public. The lactation room must be shielded from public view, be free from intrusion, and contain a chair, a working surface, and an electrical outlet (if the building has electricity). Breastfeeding women wouldn't be required to use the lactation room.

Under current law, the federal government is required to provide lactation rooms for federal workers.

Impact

Breastfeeding mothers; federal buildings; and the federal government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1174

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced this bill to require that publicly accessible federal buildings have a lactation room:

“The benefits of breastfeeding are well-documented, and federal policy has long encouraged nursing. Considering millions of people visit federal sites across the country, and particularly here in the nation’s capital, visiting nursing mothers should also have access to dedicated lactation spaces they need to safely pump breastmilk for their newborns.  My bill does not require new federal funds or new or exclusive spaces to be permanently set aside only for lactation, only that space must be available as needed.”

This legislation has the support of three cosponsors in the House, including two Democrats and one Republican. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed this bill by voice vote.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: UNICEF / Public Domain)

AKA

Fairness For Breastfeeding Mothers Act of 2017

Official Title

To provide a lactation room in public buildings.

    But not as an exclusive place. Women should be able the feed her child anywhere she is comfortable doing so.
    Like (455)
    Follow
    Share
    A woman should be able to nurse her child where ever she chooses. A special room should not be necessary.
    Like (536)
    Follow
    Share
    I am a breastfeeding mother, and while I do typically nurse my son wherever I am, it would be nice to have a quiet place away to nurse him when he's easily distracted. Right now, if I need that, I have to go to my car, because a restroom is never the place to feed a child. That's just disgusting.
    Like (361)
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    Lactation rooms aren't necessarily exclusively for breastfeeding. They provide a quiet, sanitary location for breastfeeding mothers who need to pump in private while away from their child during the day. Pumping in restrooms is unsanitary, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. Lactation rooms don't need to be large - a small, private space with a lock, a chair, a sink and an outlet is sufficient. Breastfeeding moms should feel comfortable to nurse wherever they choose. However, pumping is not something most women want to do in public.
    Like (349)
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    A lactation room would be wonderful but it shouldn't preclude a woman for feeding their child anywhere they need to.
    Like (264)
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    Share
    Women should be able to feed their babies anywhere they wish. I think it's great to give women private, clean, and quiet places to go, but my concern is that these places will become what is expected and women will lose their choice to feed their babies elsewhere.
    Like (224)
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    Share
    While a woman should have the right to feed or pump wherever she sees fit, not all women feel comfortable publicly doing so. There should be a space in place for those women to go.
    Like (125)
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    I can't believe it is 2017 and this is now under consideration.
    Like (91)
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    A woman should be able to breast feed wherever she chooses, but I do not think every woman is comfortable breastfeeding in public. This would be a good option for a lot of women, but it should not be pressured as the only option.
    Like (83)
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    It's 2017 folks. Let's do this.
    Like (65)
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    Just because women should feel free to breastfeed wherever they want doesn't mean that they should not be provided with accommodations to make breastfeeding easier.
    Like (65)
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    I think it is beneficial for a clean private space be provided for women to breastfeed in privacy should they prefer to do so. However, it is imperative that their right to breastfeed in public remain intact.
    Like (60)
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    Breastfeeding mothers need a place to pump if they are away from their baby. A clean private room with an electric outlet is very important. I'd love to live in a world where pumping anywhere I'd like is acceptable, but a designated space is next best.
    Like (46)
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    A woman should have the right to breastfeed wherever she may be. In her restaurant booth, by the fountain in the mall, etc. Requiring businesses to provide a separate room is redundant and a pretty clear example of government overreach.
    Like (44)
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    A public restroom??? Sitting on a toilet and nursing a baby among fecal matter and urine??? Is this seriously the best argument for nay???? Women should be able to nurse anywhere but if they desire a private room or a room to pump in, something OTHER than a bathroom should be available.
    Like (36)
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    I breastfeed in a corner booth at Taco Bell. I breastfeed and pump in my car. I breastfeed at church. I breastfeed and pump at work. I've breastfed in a public park while leaning against a tree. Moms don't need to be exhibitionists, we just need to be slightly creative in finding semi-private spots. The government does not need to get involved in finding places for me to nurse my baby. It only needs to protect my baby's right to have breast milk whenever and wherever he wants it.
    Like (32)
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    While this would be a nice thing to have available, it would not be my choice of top needs of our citizens. If money space and focus were not an option... sure. But In reality it is not possible to accommodate everyone's individual need and desire.
    Like (24)
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    To the women, I am man. Please tell me how to vote on this issue. I have been told to vote yes but it has to be an option and not forced upon people.
    Like (23)
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    This isn't just about breastfeeding - this would give lactating mothers a place to pump. This is vitally necessary.
    Like (18)
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    I breastfed both of my sons. I never HAD to do it in public. Mothers can always pump and feed from a bottle in public. That solves the problem of people who are bothered by seeing a woman breastfeeding her baby AND it doesn't cost the government the money to provide special rooms just for that purpose!
    Like (16)
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