Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act
No matter what they're doing or where they are, breastfeeding mothers need to express milk every few hours. An airport is just one of many environments where women face challenges trying to find a clean, private space to nurse or pump. A recent study of 100 airports found that while 62% reported being "breastfeeding friendly," only 8% met the minimum requirements for a breastfeeding mother.
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Rep. Stephen Knight (R-CA-25) have introduced the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act of 2017 to require all large and medium hub airports to provide a private, non-bathroom space in each terminal for mothers to express breast milk. The space must be accessible to persons with disabilities, available in each terminal building after the security checkpoint, and include a place to sit, a table or other flat surface, and an electrical outlet. Airports would have two years to comply and would be able to use Airport Improvement Program funds for the purpose of complying with the new requirement. California and Illinois already have state legislation requiring large airports to provide a location for breastfeeding mothers to express breast milk in private.
The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding; the Institute of Medicine report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention; and the National Prevention Strategy each call for breastfeeding-friendly environments. Yet in spite of this tremendous recognition—and laws in 49 states that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location—moms continue to face barriers, even harassment, when breastfeeding in public. And when away from their babies, airports are just one of many public places where moms face challenges finding a clean, private space to pump.
In April 2016, the 2015 version of the bill passed the Senate as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, which funds our nation's air transportation infrastructure. It then returned to the House for consideration as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act, however, this reauthorization was not ultimately passed before the end of the 114th Congressional session.
House Bill Number: H.R. 2375
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- Committee of jurisdiction: House Transportation and Infrastructure: Subcommittee on Aviation
Senate Bill Number: S. 1110
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- Committee of jurisdiction: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety & Security
- Submit a story about your personal experience with airport lactation accommodations
- Use our online tool to write to your Representative and Senators
- Share the campaign on Facebook or Twitter to tell your network to take action
- Tweet at your elected officials to ask them to support the bill
- National and state organizations are invited to sign on to a letter in support of the FAM Act
Handouts/Resources for Visits
- Help Traveling Families Stay Healthy: Ensure Airport Accommodations for Nursing Mothers (USBC fact sheet - 2017)
- Duckworth Press Release: "Ahead of Mother’s Day, Duckworth, Fischer, McCaskill & Knight Re-Introduce Bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers Act"
- Knight Press Release: "Knight introduces bipartisan measure to help nursing mothers at airports"
Relevant Cases / Real Stories
- Chicago Sun Times: "Airports fail to accommodate breastfeeding mothers"
- WCVB Boston: "Mom led to airport pet relief room to pump breast milk: Newton woman shocked at suggested accommodations"
- Yahoo News: "These U.S. Airports are Breast-Pumping Friendly (The Rest? Not So Much.)"
- Medium: "How one trip to the airport made me a feminist"
- The Huffington Post:
- Cosmopolitan: "Tammy Duckworth: Why Do We Expect Moms to Pump Milk for Their Children on a Toilet Seat?"
Prior Versions of Similar Bills
- Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act of 2015: House