In Pennsylvania, women have the legal right to breastfeed in public. But just because it is a state law doesn't mean that all businesses are aware of the law or uphold it.
To ensure businesses don't infringe on a woman's right to breastfeed, many places—including Doylestown—are drafting ordinances to protect this right.
At a meeting on Monday, July 16, Doylestown Borough Council president Det Ansinn asked his colleagues to look into drafting an ordinance that would make it illegal for Doylestown businesses to infringe on a woman's right to breastfeed.
"We want to protect women who breastfeed their children in town," Ansinn said. "It’s a public health issue. [Breastfeeding] is permitted by law, and we want to make sure that our businesses and public places are following the law."
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 45 states have laws specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are among them.
In April, one northwestern city took those protections a step farther. The city of Seattle passed an ordinance making it illegal for a business to ask a mother to leave or to cover herself or the baby while feeding.
And the new federal healthcare legislation enacted protections for employees who need to pump breast milk for their babies. The new law requires that businesses and institutions provide "a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk."
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