By Amanda Froelich,
How many times have you scrolled past an argument on the internet about whether or not women should breastfeed in public? The conversation usually wavers between “it’s a completely normal act, society has simply sexualized the female body” to “it’s indecent and should only be done behind closed doors.”
Maybe you agreed with the former opinion; maybe the latter. Whatever the case, it no longer matters. This is because Ohio and Idaho recently passed legislation that legalized the act of breastfeeding in public. As a result, it is now legal for women in all 50 states to nurse their infants while in the presence of other human beings.
According to Channel 9 News, the bill was passed after the language was altered to state that women can “breastfeed in any place of public accommodation.”
Idaho attempted to pass similar legislation 15 years ago, but the bill was shot down after male legislators voiced their concern that women would simply “whip it out and do it anywhere.” Finally, in February of this year, the bill passed the House with little resistance. At the time, Republican Rep. Paul Amador (a father himself) called it shameful that in this age, breastfeeding moms were still offered no protection.
“Personally, I find it disappointing that we’re in 2018 and we still haven’t passed this law in Idaho. I think we can take a proactive stance here through legislation to promote the natural bond and health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child. I also believe the health and nutritional choices of our families are best left as decisions for our families, not our government,” said Amador.
Not all are happy with the development. Utah Republican Rep. Curt Webb complained during the hearing that immodesty may become more prevalent as a result. Webb told the Salt Lake Tribune: “This seems to say you don’t have to cover up at all. I’m not comfortable with that, I’m just not. It’s really in your face.”
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