Breastfeeding should never be controversial.

You would never expect it to be an issue, but occasionally a case arises in the press where a breastfeeding mom is asked to leave a public place. In 2019, a high profile case came up here in Texas when a breastfeeding mom was asked to leave a public pool.

When she refused, police were called a "security issue," and the woman was removed. In the end, the uptight pool manager turned out to be wrong. The law in Texas could not be more precise.

Texas Breastfeeding Law

In Texas, mothers have the right to breastfeed or express milk in any public or private location, as long as they are legally allowed to be there.

Texas law also makes it clear that public employers in Texas are required by law to provide lactation accommodations to public breastfeeding employees. This only applies to public employees.

The Fair Labor Standards Act protects other working mothers in Texas. Under this federal law, breastfeeding employees are entitled to reasonable break times and a private space other than a bathroom to pump at work for one year following their child's birth.

State and Federal Law is clear on this issue. Even so, some people are uncomfortable around a breastfeeding mother. To them, it seems like the mom is exposing herself. To me, breastfeeding is less revealing than the typical bikini top. Others do not see it that way and also object to bikinis.

What about religious freedom?

Does a church have the right to forbid a breastfeeding mom in church during a service? This is a tricky question. While a church banning a mom from breastfeeding during a service could be considered a violation of equal protection under the law. At the same time, many think it would be a dangerous precedent for the government to tell churches what must or must not happen in the context of their worship of God.

Mothers have a right to breastfeed in public. People who object have the right not to be where it happens. It does seem that incidents like the one that occurred at that public pool back in 2019 are happening less and less frequently.

We can call that "progress."

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