Michigan’s nursing mothers no longer have to retreat to a public restroom or worry about being thrown out of businesses after Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination Act Tuesday.
Members of the Michigan Breastfeeding Network pushed hard for the legislation, which faced an uphill climb in the House after gaining approval from the Senate last year. It ultimately passed with little opposition, making Michigan one of the last states in the country to protect breastfeeding mothers, WDIV, Channel 4, reports.
Breastfeeding advocates hailed the governor’s signature as an important protection for mothers and said that breastfeeding gets babies off to a healthy start.
"There's nothing more natural than giving birth and there's nothing more natural than feeding your child using your body," Michigan Breastfeeding executive director Shannon Polk said at a news conference after the governor signed the bill, MLive reports.
"You wouldn't eat your lunch in a bathroom,” she said. “Why should our most precious and sweetest citizens have to eat in a bathroom?"
The new law will put a stop to calls like one a Harper Woods woman made in 2009 after she saw a woman breastfeeding in the aisle in a Target store. In another incident in 2011, a SMART bus reportedly told an Eastpointe woman to cover up or get off the bus.