Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Summary: HB 1706 would give a mother the authority to breastfeed her baby whenever and wherever she chooses without being prohibited. This legislation would establish breastfeeding as a right that the Comptroller's Office would have to notify the public of. Should this legislation be enacted into law, a mother who believed that her right had been violated would be able to bring civil action against the alleged offender. An award would include an injunctive relief, $500 penalty, and paying for attorney fees.
Analysis: HB 1706 would expand the scope of government by creating a right to breastfeed in public that government would be obligated to support. This legislation would require the state to support and accommodate mothers, leading to additional costs to taxpayers and increased litigations. We recognize that breastfeeding is a natural and healthy choice; however, this is an option for feeding that a woman can chose. The state should not be obligated to support that choice by requiring other people and businesses to support that choice. Mothers are free to breastfeed in Texas, as they ought to be. We support this.
We oppose legislation that infringes on the right of business owners to ask women not to breastfeed in their place of business. A business owner has the right to set standards for conduct that employees and patrons must abide by. A woman who chooses to breastfeed her child does not have the right force a business to accommodate her choice. We oppose HB 1706.