CHARLESTON, W.Va.–The House of Delegates Health Committee has passed a bill (H.B. 4335) legally establishing a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. West Virginia is one of the only states that does not provide for that protection in code.
The legislation has been introduced a number of times in recent years, but has failed to clear both houses. During Wednesday’s committee meeting, Del. Barbara Fleischauer (D-Monongalia) urged lawmakers to approve it.
“The best food for the baby is breastfeeding,” Fleishauer said, and she blamed advertising for discouraging women from breastfeeding.
“We have had a lot of advertising for years, trying to convince women to use formula instead of the best food for the baby,” Fleischauer said.
As proposed, the bill says a mother may breastfeed in any location open to the public, provided that the mother uses discretion.
The bill now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.