Breast-feeding bill gains support, key House approval - - Columbia, South Carolina

Breast-feeding bill gains support, key House approval

(Columbia) February 14, 2006 - The House gave key approval Tuesday to a bill that would give women the right to breast-feed their children in public without fear of being ordered out of sight.

The proposal exempts breast-feeding from indecent exposure laws and lets women breast-feed anywhere they have the right to be. The bill was approved with no floor debate.

While the bill sailed through second reading in the House, it's not without opposition. Some claim the bill doesn't go far enough to protect parents who do not want their kids to see breastfeeding. Two lawmakers who've raised questions about the bill in the past wouldn't go on camera with us.

The bill was introduced after a store clerk at a Mount Pleasant Victoria's Secret lingerie store told a woman last summer she could not breast-feed her 10-week-old daughter in a dressing room.

Since that time, people who are for breast-feeding in public want to make it clear that it is okay to do that. There is a coalition forming, pushing legislators to try to pass legislation that makes it clear. News 10's Kara Gormley caught up with one of the people supporting the bill, and asked a few questions.

Ben Dubard expressed clear support for the bill, "Women are skilled at it. They don't want to show off their nipples to anybody. They just want to feed their baby." 

And Dubard had a few words about the situation that caught lawmakers' attention as well, "Victoria's Secret catalogs, there are breasts all over them. The fact that someone may not use a breast in the lingerie store for what it was intended for is a bit absurd to me."  

Christina Hulslander also can't understand the opposition, "I have a very difficult time for people who oppose it. When I can drive down the street and see semi-trucks with images of a women's body in silhouette that are much more suggestive than a woman who is breastfeeding her child."

38 states already protect a mother's right to breast-feed in any public or private location. Count on WIS to keep track of the bill as it moves throughout the legislature.

Updated 7:57pm by Bryce Mursch with AP

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