Target: Idaho Health and Welfare Committee Chair Lee Heider
Goal: Protect the right of women to breastfeed their children in public spaces without being harassed or arrested.
Idaho is the last state in the U.S. that does not defend a women’s right to breastfeed her child in public. Despite federal law stating that any woman is allowed to breastfeed in public, Idaho has no law that supports or enforces this right.
Women that opt to feed their children with the natural alternative to baby formula are unable to do so in a public setting unless the milk is in a bottle. Bottling breast milk is an uncomfortable and time-intensive task that also requires refrigeration to keep the milk fresh. Breastfeeding is not only essential for healthy infant development but is the most instant and efficient way to feed a child.
Saying breastfeeding in public is “indecent exposure” is insulting to motherhood–the most natural way for an infant to receive important nutrition is through breast feeding. While not all women choose to breastfeed, those who choose to do so should be able to anywhere, even in Idaho. Most states defend this natural right to breastfeed anywhere, anytime simply because denying a child the right to be fed is inhumane. A child deserves the right to be fed whenever it is hungry. This may not always be at the most convenient time or in private.
Various studies have proven that breastfeeding infants are healthier than formula fed children. Breast milk also contains antibodies not provided in formula that help naturally build a strong immune system. Demand that Idaho defend the federal right of mothers to breast feed in public. This demand is also supported by the Idaho Breastfeeding Law Coalition.
Dear Mr. Heider,
Women in the state of Idaho are being denied their most basic human rights and cannot safely feed their children in public. Idaho does not have legislation that defends a mother’s natural right to breast feed her child in a public setting.
Idaho is behind the rest of the states in passing legislation to protect women who wish to feed their child whenever they are hungry. Breast milk has no substitutes that hold the same nutritional value. Formulas do not contain the disease and bacteria-fighting antibodies that are passed to an infant’s immune system through a mother’s breast milk.
A child deserves the right to be fed whenever hungry–this may not always be at the most convenient time or in private. Bottle feeding is not an easy alternative, and pumping milk is an uncomfortable and time-intensive task that also later requires refrigeration to keep the milk fresh. Breastfeeding is not only essential for healthy infant development, but is the most instant and efficient way to feed a hungry child. I urge you to pass legislation that protects a woman’s federal right to breastfeed in public.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Raphael Goetter