The proposed Breastfeeding Protection Act by the Georgia State-wide nurse-in group officially now has a bill number, a sponsor and several co-sponsors! Woohoo! What is great is that this proposed bill makes it clear that breastfeeding is not indecent, that a mother has the right to breastfeed anywhere she is allowed to be, and very critically, contains for the first time, an ENFORCEMENT provision . . . anyone messing with a breastfeeding mom is subject to being fined! Read on:
Director of Activism Michelle Hickman and I traveled to Atlanta to support the grassroots efforts by moms. Moms have gathered on the front lawn of the State Capitol of Atlanta, and in Savannah, Camden County, Augusta/Evans and Warner-Robbins. The Atlanta group has provided all legislators with an informational letter explaining the proposed legislation, why it’s important and how it benefits the state, its insurers, its businesses, and its citizens (i.e. “when breastfeeding happens, everybody wins”). It also includes several photographs to drive home the point that breastfeeding is part of life and that moms should not suffer degradation, harassment or discrimination trying to do for their babies what is in all or our interests: breastfeed! Local and national media outlets have been interviewing the activists this morning, and we will update this post with news coverage of the event. Please let the news stations know how much you appreciate this coverage, as having the media on our side is critical to this tipping point!
The next step is for the legislators to hold a public hearing and discussion. This is the time to call your state legislators, ladies, and let them know how important this is to you and your vote. To TAKE ACTION see http://bfgeorgia.org/ where there is an email template and all the addresses you need to make your voice heard, in 3 minutes or less!
Thank you to Michelle, Lani Michelle and Jessica Williams (from Bring Breastfeeding Back to Sesame Street), Nirvana Harley Jennette, Mary Jackson (from the Georgia State Breastfeeding Coalition), Gena Kirby, Mandi Call (who has gotten legislation passed to protect children in Georgia before), Claire Edon from the Georgia AAP chapter, Jake Marcus, JD and Marsha Walker, head of Advocacy for the United States Breastfeeding Committee for working so hard to make this momentous event happen. Thank you to the local leaders who are pulling this rope for change in their areas and in Georgia (see the Facebook Page for the Georgia Statewide Nurse-in).
This is great progress in a state that has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates among all 50 states. With everyone pulling together, we CAN make change happen, and protect moms and babies so that everyone benefits! Should we take this show on the road, state by state?