Breastfeeding bill stalled in Michigan Legislature - WNEM TV 5

Breastfeeding bill stalled in Michigan Legislature

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A battle heating up in Lansing is raising questions about a mother's right to breastfeed her baby in public.

Michigan is one of five states in the country that doesn't protect that right for nursing moms, and now there's a bill under consideration that would change that. The bill was introduced in December.

"Breastfeeding is a natural thing and I don't think you should have to feel embarrassed or discriminated against when you're feeding your child," said Jennifer Stoll, a mother.

Stoll said she supports a measure to allow Michigan mothers to breastfeed in public.

"Babies deserve to eat too and you shouldn't have to hide it up and some restaurants make you go into the bathroom to do it which is disgusting. I wouldn't eat in a bathroom and I don't think babies should have to either," Stoll said.

Almost every state in the country has a law that allows public breastfeeding. Advocates said it's time Michigan got on board.

Barb Jammer with the Michigan Breastfeeding Network said the bill would prevent discrimination in public against breastfeeding women.

She said breastfeeding offers many health benefits and mothers should feel comfortable feeding their babies in any restaurant or retail store. 

Michigan's breastfeeding bill has passed in the state Senate, but for the past five months it's been on hold in the House Judiciary Committee.

Jammer said she understands lawmakers still have questions about how the bill could impact businesses, but she said her organization is doing all they can to help legislators realize this law is necessary for mothers in our state.

"It's about education and we certainly have support throughout the Legislature, both men and women. So I think it's just bringing attention to this issue and let's get this done," Jammer said.

House Judiciary Chairman Kevin Cotter released a statement that said he believes it is important to preserve the ability to breastfeed wherever a mother sees fit.

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