Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth’s bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act—which would ensure breastfeeding mothers traveling through large- and medium-sized airports have accessible, clean and convenient lactation rooms to use—was included without objection in a broader legislative package reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee today. The FAM Act, which has 62 bipartisan cosponsors in the House and is endorsed by several public health organizations, will now be considered by the full Senate as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act to fund our nation’s air transportation infrastructure.
“Even though we would never expect travelers to eat their meals in bathrooms stalls, new mothers are often directed to airport toilets to feed their children,” said Congresswoman Duckworth. “If airports still have space for smoking lounges even in 2016, surely we can find the space to allow new mothers to express breastmilk—a biological imperative that can help protect babies from illness—as well. I’m pleased my bill is moving through both the House and Senate, and I will continue working in a bipartisan fashion to provide clean and accessible lactation rooms for traveling mothers around the nation.”
Duckworth’s FAM Act, which was also included in the House’s version of the FAA Reauthorization Act, would ensure that all large and medium hub airports in the United States to provide a private space that is accessible to persons with disabilities in each terminal for mothers to express breastmilk within two years. Since its introduction, the FAM Act has received positive feedback from Members of Congress, advocacy organizations and constituents throughout Illinois.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and Breastfeed Chicago support the FAM Act, as does the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee, which represents: The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, The American Association of Birth Centers, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, The American Civil Liberties Union, The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, the Association of State Public Heath Nutritionists, the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Centering Healthcare Institute, ChangeLab Solutions, Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, Every Mother, Inc., HealthConnect One, International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, La Leche League USA, the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee, Lamaze International, March of Dimes, Midwives Alliance of North America, National Action Against Obesity, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Center for Health Research, National WIC Association, Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Shape Up America!, and Women-Inspired Systems’ Enrichment. The bill is also supported by a long list of state-based organizations throughout the nation.