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Missouri senator wants more protection for breastfeeding mothers

Friday, February 8, 2013 | 2:01 p.m. CST; updated 3:29 p.m. CST, Friday, February 8, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — A bill introduced in the Missouri Senate would explicitly give women the right to breastfeed in public.

Current state law requires that women breastfeed in public "with as much discretion as possible." The proposed bill would remove that phrase from the law. It emphasizes that breastfeeding is not sexual conduct or indecent exposure.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, who says some women have been harassed while trying to breastfeed.

The bill also exempts nursing mothers from jury duty.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the bill has bipartisan support in committee.

The Centers for Disease Control says 43.1 percent of Missouri mothers breastfeed at six months, compared with the national average of 47.2 percent.


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