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NYCLU Applauds Passage of Bill Enabling Working Mothers to Continue Nursing

The NYCLU today applauded the passage in the New York State Legislature of a bill that would ensures working mothers’ right to pump breast milk during their work breaks, enabling them to continue breastfeeding upon returning to work after giving birth.

“Women shouldn’t have to choose between breastfeeding and going back to work,” said Galen Sherwin, Director of the NYCLU’s Reproductive Rights Project. “This bill would require that employers permit women to breast pump during existing breaks and to take reasonable steps to provide areas for nursing mothers to use for that purpose. The passage of this bill is an important step to enable nursing women to participate in the workforce.”

Because pumping at work is critical to being able to continue breastfeeding at home, a hostile workplace can effectively prevent a working woman from continuing to nurse. If a woman is unable to pump during the work day she will stop producing milk, since the quantity of breast milk produced is directly related to the amount that is expressed, either by breastfeeding or pumping. She may also experience pain or infection.

The NYCLU now urges Governor Eliot Spitzer to sign the bill into law.

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