October 17, 2019

Duckworth, Fischer Introduce Bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act

Bill builds on recently-implemented legislation Duckworth wrote to ensure all airports have lactation rooms


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Improvement Act, which ensures small airports support nursing moms and promote breastfeeding-friendly environments by providing accessible, clean and convenient lactation rooms for travelers. The bill builds on Duckworth’s success in enacting legislation that ensures all large and medium airports provide a clean, private space where moms can breastfeed or pump.

When traveling, you’d never be expected to eat your meal in a bathroom stall, yet for many new mothers, that’s the reality they face,” said Duckworth. “Last year, with the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act, Congress took the first step in making air travel easier for new parents by passing my bipartisan FAM Act. Now we must build upon that success by ensuring small airports and their passengers aren’t left behind. The FAM Improvement Act recognizes that all airports, large, medium and small, can play a role in improving the health of families by supporting breastfeeding travelers.

Being a new mother is stressful enough as it is, and breastfeeding while traveling in an airport can be exceedingly challenging,” said Fischer. “Senator Duckworth and I included a provision in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 to ensure that medium and large airports provide nursing moms with private, convenient lactation room. This bill would ensure that small airports offer moms that same option to provide peace of mind.”

Last year, a bipartisan majority of Congress took the first step to addressing the lack of lactation facilities in airports by passing the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, which was signed into law and makes sure all medium and large airports in the nation provide private spaces in each terminal for mothers to express breastmilk and allows airports to use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to make these enhancements. Duckworth first introduced the FAM Act in May of 2015 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Duckworth also wrote an op-ed describing her experiences as a traveling mother and calling on Congress to pass the FAM Act. In July, another bipartisan breastfeeding bill that was championed by Senator Duckworth, the Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act, was signed into law and ensures all federal buildings open to the public provide lactation spaces for visitors.

The FAM Improvement Act has been endorsed by over 85 organizations, including the U.S. Breastfeeding Coalition, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, Association of Women's Health, and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, La Leche League USA, MomRising and the National WIC Association.