Norton Bill to Require Federal Buildings to Provide Lactation Spaces to Visiting Nursing Mothers Passes House

Feb 6, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that the House of Representatives today by voice vote passed Norton’s bill, the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act, requiring buildings that are either federally owned or leased to provide designated private and hygienic lactation spaces for nursing mothers.  Federal law currently requires employers to provide a designated, non-bathroom space for employees to pump breastmilk for their newborns, but Norton’s bill would extend this requirement to visitors and guests to federal facilities across the nation.

“I am grateful to my colleagues for their overwhelming support for our important bill, which I have deemed our ‘Motherhood Act,’” Norton said.  “The benefits of breastfeeding are so well-documented that federal agencies have long encouraged breastfeeding.  Considering that millions of people visit federal sites across the country, particularly here in the nation’s capital, it is essential that we ensure nursing mothers have access to designated, private and hygienic lactation spaces in our federally owned or leased buildings. Importantly, our bipartisan bill does not require new federal funds or new or exclusive spaces to be permanently set aside, only that space be made available to visitors as needed.  This bill was passed by a Republican House in 2017 and a Democratic House today.  I look forward to working with our friends in the Senate to enact it into law.”