April 27, 2018

Duckworth’s FAM Act Passes House of Representatives


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)’s bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives today as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018. The legislation, which also passed the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting consideration by the full Senate, would ensure breastfeeding mothers traveling through all large- and medium-sized airports have accessible, clean and convenient lactation rooms to feed their children and express breastmilk. Duckworth has written about how she was inspired to introduce the legislation when she was a nursing mother and discovered that most airports lacked a lactation room, forcing her to pump in a bathroom stall. Companion legislation was re-introduced and shepherded through the House of Representatives by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA).

“Even though we would never expect travelers to eat their meals in bathrooms stalls, new mothers are often directed to airport toilets to feed their children,” said Senator Duckworth. “If airports still have spaces for smoking lounges in 2018, surely we can find clean and accessible spaces to allow new mothers to express breastmilk since breastfeeding has long-lasting health benefits that protect mothers and children from illnesses. The FAM Act will make a significant difference in the lives of moms and their children during travel. I am pleased our bipartisan legislation passed the House and I look forward to continuing my work in the Senate to support women and families at the airport, at home and in the workplace. I want to thank Congressman Knight for joining me in this effort.”

“Air travel has become an integral part of our everyday lives,” said Representative Knight. “Whether flying for business, leisure, or to visit loved ones, we spend more time than ever in airplanes and airports. Under the status quo, there is an unfair barrier that new mothers face when they want to travel with infant children. This bipartisan bill will help fix this inequity by providing a safe, clean, and private place where moms can take care of their children. I am very pleased we were able to include this in the FAA bill and I look forward to seeing it be signed into law. I would like to thank Senator Duckworth for her continued leadership in advocating for America's moms. I also want to congratulate her on the birth of her newborn daughter.”

The FAM Act has been endorsed by the U.S. Breastfeeding Coalition, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the National Military Family Association, the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Association of Flight Attendants, the Association of Women's Health, and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.