Being pro-life is about more than just stopping abortion; it’s about building a world in which mothers are supported and empowered to choose life. And a new law has taken the country one step closer to making that goal a reality. The Federal Aviation Administration received its reauthorization earlier this month, and it now includes the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act. It requires every large- and medium-sized airport to have a lactation room at every terminal, where mothers can breastfeed or pump breastmilk in privacy. Each room must be available to the public, located behind security, have a door that can be locked, be accessible and available to people with disabilities, including wheelchairs, have a door that can be locked, be free from intrusion, have a place to sit, a flat surface, and an electrical outlet. It may not be located in a bathroom. The top-rated airports already have rooms like these, but it’s now mandatory.
The bill had bipartisan support after being introduced by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat, and Rep. Stephen Knight, a Republican. It was placed into the FAA reauthorization bill without any opposition, and the move has received praise from advocacy groups.
“This is a strong step forward toward a world where breastfeeding families across our country are seamlessly supported wherever they are—at their places of work, in their communities, in an airport, anywhere,” said Mona Liza Hamlin, chairperson of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee. “No one likes flight delays but for people who are lactating, extra time in the airport can mean finding a place to express milk or risking a dwindling milk supply or even infection. We look forward to building on this momentum and continuing to support breastfeeding people and families in all places and spaces.”
Duckworth in particular has worked hard to provide more support for mothers, helping military mothers receive more time with their newborns, co-sponsoring bills for paid paternal and affordable childcare, and helping to get on-campus childcare for parenting students. But Duckworth also supports abortion without restrictions. Women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies need real material help, support, and assistance, along with a child-friendly culture that makes families welcomed and accepted everywhere. In the minds of many, this could help to make abortion not just illegal, but unthinkable.