Public Breastfeeding Is Finally Legal in All 50 States

Updated 08/06/18

After two historic rulings in Utah and Idaho, breastfeeding in public is officially legal in all 50 states, People reports. Utah lawmaker Curt Webb initially expressed "modesty" concerns surrounding the act of breastfeeding in public, telling 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." Ultimately, the state passed a bill simply stating that women are "permitted to breastfeed in any place of public accommodation," with a vote of 66–5.

public breastfeeding legal
Jenna Peffley for MyDomaine

Things went a bit more smoothly in Idaho, where lawmakers passed legislation protecting breastfeeding mothers from indecent exposure and obscenity laws in a 66–0 vote back in February 2018. "Personally, I find it disappointing that we're in 2018 and we still haven't passed this law in Idaho," Republican Rep. Paul Amador, father to a then–5-month-old son, told The Idaho Statesman. "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."

While it may be shocking to learn that, up until this year, all 50 states did not legislatively protect breastfeeding mothers, the final two rulings ensure that they can breastfeed any place, any time throughout the United States. We're now up to speed with Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, and countless other countries that protect nursing mothers and permit breastfeeding in public.

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