December 11, 2019

Duckworth’s Bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act Passes Senate Committee


[WASHINGTON, DC] – Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) passed the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation (CST) Committee unanimously today and will now be considered by the full Senate. The Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Improvement Act would ensure that 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 are building upon that success by ensuring small airports and their passengers aren’t left behind. That’s why I’m proud my colleagues passed the bipartisan FAM Improvement Act out of Committee today, which recognizes that all airports, large, medium and small, can play a role in improving the health of families by supporting breastfeeding travelers.

“Senator Duckworth and I introduced the FAM Improvement Act to provide new mothers with peace of mind when travelling through small hub airports,” said Fischer. “It builds on our previous efforts in the 2018 FAA reauthorization to require clean, private space where moms can breastfeed or pump at large and medium hub airports. I’m pleased to see the Senate Commerce Committee approve our bipartisan bill today. With this bill, nursing mothers in small hub airports will have access to a private and convenient lactation room when they are traveling.”

Last year, a bipartisan majority of Congress passed 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.