Breastfeeding in Public is Finally Legal in All 50 States!

Breastfeeding in public places is finally legal in all 50 states, just now, in the year of our lord Beyoncé 2018. As with all things relating to women’s bodies, people have a lot of feelings.

Recently, Utah and Idaho passed laws legalizing breastfeeding in public, making them the last two states to enact such laws. Though the legislation is clearly on the right side of history—and literally every other state had done so already—the change did not come without a fight and a whole lot of Puritan outrage, particularly among male lawmakers.

In Utah, Republican Rep. Curt Webb complained during a hearing that the law could lead to immodesty.

“This seems to say you don’t have to cover up at all,” he told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “I’m not comfortable with that, I’m just not. It’s really in your face.”

There are a lot of sexist double standards and unnecessary sexualization going on here, but the confusing part is that Rep. Webb seems to be conflating a mother feeding her child with an episode of Girls Gone Wild.

I’ve never had a child, so I don’t know what it’s like to breastfeed in public, but I’m guessing that the last thing women want is for strange men to watch them breastfeed, but that they’re also too damn tired to care. This seems like another great example of “everyone just mind their own business, and we’ll all be fine.”

But #NotAllMen were against the new law.

“I don’t feel like we should ever relegate a mom to a restroom to breastfeed their child,” said Rep. Justin Fawson, who sponsored the bill. “That’s a big reason why I’m running the bill. I’m seeking to further normalize breastfeeding and allow moms to feed their babies as needed.”

In Idaho, the bill unanimously passed the House and Senate earlier this year, but it’s not the first time the state has tried to pass such legislation. Fifteen years ago, male lawmakers shot down the bill because they were afraid women would “whip it out and do it anywhere.”

This time, though, even some men saw how ridiculous it is not to have protections for breastfeeding moms. Republican Rep. Paul Amador, father of an infant son and sponsor of the bill, called it “shameful” that the state had no such protections in place.

“Personally, I find it disappointing that we’re in 2018 and we still haven’t passed this law in Idaho,” he said. “I think we can take a proactive stance here through legislation to promote the natural bond and health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child. I also believe the health and nutritional choices of our families are best left as decisions for our families, not our government.”

Breastfeeding moms are frequently shamed, confronted, asked to cover up or leave, or even have the police called on them despite breastfeeding in public being perfectly legal.

Earlier this year a woman at a Chick-Fil-A was harassed for breastfeeding her child to the point that she left to avoid further problems. More recently, a mom at a public pool in Minnesota had the police called on her when she started to breastfeed her baby. Despite having the law on her side, the police forced her to leave.

Even when women do use nasty public restrooms to breastfeed, their problems don’t end there. A woman traveling through Heathrow Airport went to a bathroom stall to pump, so she could lock the door, and when she took longer than “normal” to use the stall, a male employee unlocked the door and barged in on her.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

119 comments

ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R1 months ago

well said, Catrin S

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Madison I
Madison I1 months ago

I don't understand why people are uncomfortable with breastfeeding. It is natural and healthy for the baby.

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Winn A
Winn Adams2 months ago

Finally!!!!!!!

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Leo C
Leo C2 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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Georgina Elizab M
Georgina Elizab M2 months ago

I have never noticed it being banned.In Italy where I live it seems the normal thing for mothers to do. What's so wrong about it??. Are we becoming narrow-minded?

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Kathleen England
Kathleen England2 months ago

Should have happened before.

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Catrin S
Catrin S2 months ago

Something so natural as l should have never been an issue.

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Leo C
Leo C2 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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silja s
silja salonen2 months ago

it was illegal??? now it is legal. wow how absolutely mindboggling that is to me. a natural gift of life was / is deemed a possible doorway to corrupt lewd behaviour. oh and not that society would be corrupt, oh no it would be the mother nursing her baby. what is wrong with people in ameria. gobsmacked. head shaking. and ultimately roaring with laughter at the stupidity of this. so sorry for all my sisters that have had to endure this cruel unkindness from american society.

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Tania N
Tania N2 months ago

Thank you

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