It is no secret Democrats in the Florida legislature have acted valiantly to support women in the state of Florida. Now, Senator Lori Berman (D) and Representative Ashley Gantt (D) are working on a bill to mandate lactating spaces for women in all county courthouses.
SB 144 and HB 87 require each Florida County courthouse to have a designated space for women to lactate. The space must be, "private, clean, and accessible for mothers to nurse or pump breastmilk, and must be available for all courthouse patrons, including attorneys, jurors, and courthouse staff."
Sen. Berman and Rep. Gantt feel that making this accommodation will remove a barrier for women to serve on juries and generally having public access to courthouse proceedings, as they are entitled to view. Although the idea may seem fringe and only applicable to such a minor portion of the population, a push for this has been underway for quite sometime.
The Florida Association for Women Lawyers has worked to promote lactation space legislation. “Women across the State, both lawyers and non-lawyers, stand to benefit greatly from the passage of this legislation. It ensures that nursing mothers will finally be able to fully participate in judicial proceedings without having to sacrifice their privacy or personal family choices,” said FAWL President, Donna Eng.
Senator Berman stated in support of SB 144, "A private, safe and hygienic space for women to breastfeed their baby should be available when needed. I am honored to work with FAWL, and look forward to ensuring courthouses are included in the list of safe spaces for women to take care of this maternal need."
"As we continue to see the makeup of families evolve, it is important to have a private, hygienic, and welcoming space for mothers and caregivers to breastfeed and pump for their baby. A special aspect about this policy, is that women who pump to donate their milk for families in need will also have a welcoming space to use," stated Rep. Gantt