Bill would authorize public breast-feeding

A bill that would allow a mother to breast-feed her child in public advanced from general file Feb. 15.

Fullerton Sen. Annette Dubas, sponsor of LB197, said legislation was needed to codify that a woman is not breaking a law when feeding her baby.

Dubas said she has met mothers who received rude comments and were asked to leave the premises or told to take their baby to a public restroom or car to be fed.

“We don’t ask women who are bottle-feeding a baby to go into the bathroom and I don’t think we should ask women who are breast-feeding to go into a bathroom either,” she said.

Nebraska is one of only two states without a law to protect women who breast-feed, she said. No woman should feel ashamed, apologetic or threatened when responding to the needs of their child, Dubas added.

Grand Island Sen. Mike Gloor spoke in support of the bill, saying breast-feeding is healthy for infants and should be encouraged.

The bill advanced from general file on a 41-0 vote.

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