Proposal to Create ‘Lactation Space’ in Florida County Courthouses Introduced in Tallahassee

Last week, state Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boca Raton, and state Rep. Ashley Gantt, D-Miami, introduced a proposal “to create a ‘lactation space’ for nursing mothers in all county courthouses.”

The bills would require each Florida county courthouse to have a dedicated lactation space. The space must be private, clean, and accessible for mothers to nurse or pump breastmilk, and must be available for all courthouse patrons, including attorneys, jurors, and courthouse staff. By providing breastfeeding mothers a clean and safe space, lactation spaces remove a barrier for women returning to the workplace, serving the public as jurors, attending legal proceedings, and accessing courthouse services.

For several years, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) has worked to promote lactation space legislation.

“Women across the State, both lawyers and non-lawyers, stand to benefit greatly from the passage of this legislation. It ensures that nursing mothers will finally be able to fully participate in judicial proceedings without having to sacrifice their privacy or personal family choices,” said FAWL President Donna Eng.

The proposals are in line with recent federal legislation. Most recently in December 2022, Congress passed the PUMP For Nursing Mothers Act with strong, bipartisan support, providing lactation spaces in the workplace. This act further expanded on the Federal Fairness of Breastfeeding Mothers Act of 2019, providing for lactation spaces in Federal Courthouses.

“A private, safe and hygienic space for women to breastfeed their baby should be available when needed. I am honored to work with FAWL, and look forward to ensuring courthouses are included in the list of safe spaces for women to take care of this maternal need,” said Berman.

“As we continue to see the makeup of families evolve, it is important to have a private, hygienic, and welcoming space for mothers and caregivers to breastfeed and pump for their baby. A special aspect about this policy, is that women who pump to donate their milk for families in need will also have a welcoming space to use,” said Gantt.

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