Senators introduce bipartisan legislation to ensure dedicated breastfeeding spaces at VA medical centers for mothers who are veterans
This week, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced the bipartisan Lactation Spaces Act for Veteran Mothers ensure that each medical center operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contains a specially designated hygienic private space for the nursing care of veterans, VA employees, and their partners. There are currently 90 VA medical centers across the country with such designated rooms, but these spaces are reserved for employees who treat, not veterans receiving care at the VA.
“All mothers deserve a private and hygienic place to breastfeed their children,” said Senator Rosen. “We cannot continue to allow only half of VA medical centers to have a designated nursing room open to veterans and their partners. Mothers who are veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, the least we can do is give them privacy while breastfeeding by passing this bipartisan bill.
“We should do all we can to support mothers and their babies by providing better access to breastfeeding rooms in public places,” said Senator Murkowski. “As the number of female veterans increases rapidly, we need to ensure that we have adequate support services for them. Right now, only half of VA medical centers have a nursing room, so we need to change that. I am proud to support female veterans by ensuring that our VA facilities have nursing rooms that are accessible to employees, veterans, and their partners.
A complementary bill, presented by the deputy Elaine Luria (D-VA), past in the House unanimously in May.