Bill would put private nursing rooms in airports

Congressman Steve Knight answers questions at a town hall at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Knight announced he was considering a run in the special election for the seat Katie Hill is expected to vacate shortly. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) reintroduced a bill that would make traveling more convenient for nursing mothers.

If passed, the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act would provide lactation rooms in large and medium airports within two years to ensure mothers do not have to breastfeed in restrooms.

“Women, especially new mothers, face many unique challenges that are often overlooked,” Knight said in a statement. “Breastfeeding while traveling can be a huge hassle and a needless obstacle.”

Under the bill, the rooms would be private with locked doors, include a place to sit, a table or flat surface and an electrical outlet. The rooms would be accessible for people with disabilities.

The U.S. Breastfeeding Coalition, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the National Military Family Association, the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists, the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses have all endorsed the bill, Knight’s office said in a statement.

Knight coauthored a similar bill in the last legislative session, which passed through the Senate and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. According to Knight’s Communications Director Megan Dutra, the former bill was halted by a separate conflict with the proposed reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The bill is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO).


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