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Texas May Soon Allow Breastfeeding Moms to Sue if Shunned

Following a nationwide “nurse-in” at Target stores and other locations, a law may soon be passed in Texas that will allow a nursing woman to sue the organization or person that told her to leave the store.

The Dallas Observer comments:

On Friday, [state Rep. Jessica] Farrar filed a bill that would allow mothers booted from a public place for nursing can sue and collect damages from whomever did the booting, be it an individual, business, government or other entity.

Advocates have already won acknowledgment that breastfeeding is the optimal way for newborns to get nutrition and that the practice is something to be promoted. But breastfeeding isn’t yet fully a right, not legally anyways.

Take the case of Donnica Venters, a Houston woman who said she was fired for asking to pump breast milk while at work. She and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued, only to lose in federal court last February.

“Lactation is not pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition,” Judge Lynn Hughes wrote in her decision. That means there is no cause of action for “lactation discrimination” under federal law.

That looks unlikely to change anytime soon, but Farrar’s bill would give women like Venters some recourse at the state level.

This issue also came up online in 2012, when a Facebook nurse-in followed the social networking site removing photos of breastfeeding mothers.


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