Saturday, April 08, 2006

I &hearts Mississippi (just this once, just on this)

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour signed legislation (SB2419) into law this week in support of breast-feeding women. The legislation includes language such as:
  • "It is the intent of the Legislature to proclaimthat breast milk is life sustaining and the perfect food to ensure optimal growth, development and survival of Mississippi children."
  • "No county, municipality or other political subdivision shall enact any ordinance restricting a woman's right to breast-feed her child until such time as the state may authorize a county, municipality or other political subdivision to enact such an ordinance."
  • "A mother may breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, without respect to whether the mother's breast or any part of it is covered during or incidental to the breast-feeding."

    It also amends code on public/indecent exposure, disturbance of the peace, and disorderly conduct to clarify that breast-feeding does not violate those codes. This legislation also exempts breast-feeding mothers from jury duty service, prevents employers from prohibiting employees from expressing breast milk during any meal period or other provided break period, and compels the Department of Health to enact regulations affecting breastfeeding at licensed child care facilities, stating:
  • "Breast-feeding mothers, including employees, shall be provided a sanitary place that is not a toilet stall to breast-feed their children or express milk. This area shall provide an electrical outlet, comfortable chair, and nearby access to running water."
  • "A refrigerator will be made available for storageof expressed breast milk"
  • "Staff shall be trained in the safe and proper storage and handling of human milk."
  • "Breast-feeding promotion information will bedisplayed in order to positively promote breast-feeding to the clients of the facility."

    The Sun Herald (MS newspaper) also has the story. The bill was sponsored by Senators Frazier and Albritton. Good job, fellas.

    (found via the Kaiser Network)

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