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Help North Dakota's BFing Bill--Voting Today Update Post#60

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I was really excited about this, it didn't have an enforcement provision, but it was pretty good. It got passed today, and I am so ticked.

It passed in the Senate an hour ago. I don't know when it will be up in the House.

They changed it from:
Quote:
Right to breastfeed - Discriminatory practices.
1. Except for the private home or residence of another, a woman may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the woman's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.
2. It is a discriminatory practice to deny or attempt to deny the full and equal
enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and
accommodations of a place of public accommodation to a woman because the
woman is breastfeeding her child.
http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/61-...t/JAGK0100.pdf

to this:
Quote:
Right to breastfeed. If the woman acts in a discreet and modest Manner, a woman may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be.
http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/61-...s/JAGK0200.pdf

I don't know where to start to try to change it. Help!
post #2 of 66
I'm not in the U.S. so have no idea where you would begin, but I did want to say OH MY! That is horrible! Who gets to decide what is "discreet and modest"? Those definitions can even vary depending on the breastfeeding child! So sorry that this got passed. Did they just change it suddenly? If so, why didn't anyone get a say after they proposed the change?
post #3 of 66
I agree.... very frustrating! Discreet and Modest are very subjective terms.
post #4 of 66
Argh...another neighboring state trying to legislate modesty!

What's next? Stoning women for showing their hair?

Don't know if there's anything a Minnesotan can do...but if there is, I'll do it.
post #5 of 66
Thread Starter 
I had been watching and they didn't post any proposed amendments, and of course I'd sent emails to my reps and senator saying I supported it.

I don't know where to start since it's passed by the Senate and will be reviewed by the House next. I don't even know how to find out how changes are made.
post #6 of 66
Anyone want to go to ND and breastfeed topless while "behaving modestly"? I mean, a half-naked woman is just as able to avoid disagreeing with males in public and walking 2 steps behind their husband or whatever freaked-out standard of "modesty" the lawmakers have in mind.

Maybe they just mean modest clothing? There are lots of MDC mamas who can give tips on cute cloths to keep elbows and knees covered--even swimsuits!

State-legislated covering up, sounds like it's time to break out the maria lactans blankets.

I am so about the way the legislation is worded that I can't seem to post anything serious about it without swearwords.
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggirayne View Post
I had been watching and they didn't post any proposed amendments, and of course I'd sent emails to my reps and senator saying I supported it.

I don't know where to start since it's passed by the Senate and will be reviewed by the House next. I don't even know how to find out how changes are made.
Maggirayne, it's wonderful that you have already been an active citizen on this matter in your home state. There's nothing that says you can't contact your reps and senator again about this bill!

I suggest calling, not e-mailing, your representative(s) in the House to tell them you are opposed to the bill passed by the Senate and to urge them to pass the bill in its original form.

I also suggest calling AND writing (snail mail) your senator(s) to tell them how disappointed you are with the bill the Senate passed and why you opposed the wording about modesty. I would ask if they can tell you who is responsible for the dramatic change in the bill's content.

Do you know which senator(s) originally sponsored this bill? You may not be their constituent, but as a citizen of the state I'd think you have a right to ask questions about the process by which the bill was written and then modified. Finding out precisely who is responsible for gutting an otherwise not-half-bad bill would be helpful in knowing how to push back.

I'm thinking there is either one or a few "loose cannons" in the Senate who disrupted the process out of their own squeamish misogyny, or that a group who wanted to derail the entire bill gutted the wording in the Senate version to make sure the House would kill the bill so that NOTHING would be passed on breastfeeding in public. But if the House passes the bill you originally supported, then probably the two versions would go to a committee to sort out the wording of the final version, so you might have a second shot at the process at that stage.

Another idea to do along with contacting your legislators would be to e-mail a newspaper reporter who covers state legislation and ask if they can find out who is responsible for changing the wording. That reporter would know the terrain of state politics and might even be interested in writing a story to bring more public attention to this issue.
post #8 of 66
I agree, contact your Representative again (via phone if possible) and let the Rep know that you do NOT support the current wording on the bill, and ask for the original wording for the House version.

Then contact your Senators and tell them that you do not and did not support the amendments.

Hopefully, the bill passed by the House will be the original version, and they'll be combined. Or, the House won't pass it at all and IMO in this situation, no law is better than what the Senate just passed.

Please post this in the Tribe threads so that as many ND mothers as possible know about the current status of the legislation, how to contact their Representatives (their #1 concern right now) and their Senators as well, to try to reverse this damage.
post #9 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I had no idea where to start and was so mad I was hopping. My DD says, mommy bouncing.

I did go to the committee meeting and one senator was asking the (woman) pediatrician who testified for it about discreet. She stated it was not easy or comfortable nursing in a bathroom. Um, can we say and unsanitary?!
post #10 of 66
Thread Starter 
A third thought is that the committee reworded it so it would get passed.
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggirayne View Post
A third thought is that the committee reworded it so it would get passed.
But I think the way it is, it's worse than not having anything at all. Because anyone can say someone wasn't being their definition of "discreet and modest". It really offers zero protection for a breastfeeding woman. It might even be used as a reason to send women to the "discreet" bathroom to nurse. "No problem, you can breastfeed in our restaurant, you just have to do it discreetly in the bathroom as that's what the law says!".
post #12 of 66
Ugh! Nauseating!

Here are some suggestions: (1) as previous posters said, contact your reps and senators; (2) research open records/open meetings laws in your state (usually accessible online so that you can request as much history as possible about the gutting of the bill and who is behind it; (3) contact civil rights lawyers or organizations in your area--this sounds like a gender discrimination issue which could very well be challenged in court if it passes--I can imagine there is a claim under state constitutional law.

I know I am "preaching to the choir," but this modesty garbage makes me so angry. Women can walk around in 2-inch skirts and teeny shirts with bras straps hanging out, and Victoria's Secret ads can be anywhere, but heaven forbid somebody gets a glance at a nursing mom's nipple. shocking!
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by songbh View Post
Maggirayne, it's wonderful that you have already been an active citizen on this matter in your home state. There's nothing that says you can't contact your reps and senator again about this bill!

I suggest calling, not e-mailing, your representative(s) in the House to tell them you are opposed to the bill passed by the Senate and to urge them to pass the bill in its original form.

I also suggest calling AND writing (snail mail) your senator(s) to tell them how disappointed you are with the bill the Senate passed and why you opposed the wording about modesty. I would ask if they can tell you who is responsible for the dramatic change in the bill's content.

Do you know which senator(s) originally sponsored this bill? You may not be their constituent, but as a citizen of the state I'd think you have a right to ask questions about the process by which the bill was written and then modified. Finding out precisely who is responsible for gutting an otherwise not-half-bad bill would be helpful in knowing how to push back.

I'm thinking there is either one or a few "loose cannons" in the Senate who disrupted the process out of their own squeamish misogyny, or that a group who wanted to derail the entire bill gutted the wording in the Senate version to make sure the House would kill the bill so that NOTHING would be passed on breastfeeding in public. But if the House passes the bill you originally supported, then probably the two versions would go to a committee to sort out the wording of the final version, so you might have a second shot at the process at that stage.

Another idea to do along with contacting your legislators would be to e-mail a newspaper reporter who covers state legislation and ask if they can find out who is responsible for changing the wording. That reporter would know the terrain of state politics and might even be interested in writing a story to bring more public attention to this issue.
All of what she said.

PLUS, in my experience every state legislature has a way in via the website that will lead you to the history for the bill. For this bill it is here:

http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/61-...ns/ba2344.html

which says the amendment was added in the senate committee.

Here: http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/61-...31.pdf#Page488 is the senate journal indicating the amendments made in the Human Services Committee but only give the name of the chair of the committee (J. Lee) and not who introduced the amendment. The amendment makes this a very bad bill. The amendments are also shockingly similar to those Wisconsin Family Action is agitating for in Wisconsin. This is bad. Very very bad.

From the status listing, it appears that this is not yet out of the state senate. It is "engrossed." No idea what that means but it appears to be something like the "first reading" here in PA. It may not be possible to change what happens because only someone who knows the ND legislative procedure will know how it works.

Noise. You and other breastfeeding advocates in ND need to make a whole lot of noise and do it now. Post all of this at the ND tribal area. Find the state breastfeeding coalition. Call both your state senator and your state house rep and keep talking to staff people until you get a straight answer about what happened and what can be done to stop it.

The "modesty" is coming from somewhere - no way by shear coincidence it hits two good state bills in a matter of days.

Please post back. And thanks so much for bringing this here.
post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajake View Post
All of what she said.

PLUS, in my experience every state legislature has a way in via the website that will lead you to the history for the bill. For this bill it is here:

http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/61-...ns/ba2344.html

which says the amendment was added in the senate committee.

Here: http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/61-...31.pdf#Page488 is the senate journal indicating the amendments made in the Human Services Committee but only give the name of the chair of the committee (J. Lee) and not who introduced the amendment. The amendment makes this a very bad bill. The amendments are also shockingly similar to those Wisconsin Family Action is agitating for in Wisconsin. This is bad. Very very bad.

From the status listing, it appears that this is not yet out of the state senate. It is "engrossed." No idea what that means but it appears to be something like the "first reading" here in PA. It may not be possible to change what happens because only someone who knows the ND legislative procedure will know how it works.

Noise. You and other breastfeeding advocates in ND need to make a whole lot of noise and do it now. Post all of this at the ND tribal area. Find the state breastfeeding coalition. Call both your state senator and your state house rep and keep talking to staff people until you get a straight answer about what happened and what can be done to stop it.

The "modesty" is coming from somewhere - no way by shear coincidence it hits two good state bills in a matter of days.

Please post back. And thanks so much for bringing this here.

EVERYTHING Jake said!

Also about the noise MAKE it! Call the media and as a pp suggested find a reporter who works the legislature. Find as many bfing mamas as you can to get them to call their legislators and express their disagreement with the new bill. This bill is so much worse than nothing! Find the original sponsor and see if they can help you stop this thing before it gets too far. You might have to do a lot of leg work, but maybe they will point you in the right direction.

Good Luck mama!
post #15 of 66
I just posted about this on another board that I frequent with lots of passionate, pro-bf mamas. Hopefully at least a couple will see it and make some noise!
post #16 of 66
This pisses me off! DH is from ND and we do visit there from time to time. I don't know what I can do from out of state though!
post #17 of 66
I'm from ND and am on it. I can't believe this crap is happening. Where is the logic? You can find some of us breastfeeding friendly ND moms here:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/g...0423778&ref=mf

I am trying to send the message down the grapevine. I hope we can get this changed before it passes the house. I was better not having a law at all rather than have this messed up one as baring your breasts in public in ND is not considered indecent exposure anyway.

AAAARRRGGGG!!! Had to let that one out.
post #18 of 66
Massachusetts had tried to add those same *terms* to our new BFing law, but they were eventually taken out because of their subjectivity. Leaving them in turns the law into a farce, imo. I hope you are able to get the wording changed!!!!!
post #19 of 66
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Yeah, I do know it was changed in the Senate committee.

All right, all right, I'm getting a Facebook, lol! I've put it off forever. Heheh.


Edited by Maggirayne - 6/25/11 at 10:14pm
post #20 of 66
Thread Starter 
Oh, and engross, means it's passed by the Senate but not by the House, I think. At least, that's it's status.
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