New bill looking to expand breastfeeding rights in North Dakota, local parents weigh in

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)- A new bill is looking to change North Dakota’s breastfeeding laws. The bill would add a penalty to anyone trying to stop someone from breastfeeding. On top of that, it's looking to expand breastfeeding rights.

Photo courtesy: MGN

We brought you what some call, a controversial story last year. It was about a Fargo woman who says she was told, she had to cover-up or leave a Chick-fil-A by the owner for breastfeeding. Since then, this woman and state lawmakers got together to create a bill to prevent this from happening to other parents.

"That’s a form of how kids are getting fed other than formula," says Fargo Mom, Shai-Anne Hatch-Collins.

Shai-Anne Hatch-Collins has a daughter, she's three years old. And she tells us when it comes to breastfeeding, she thinks women should be allowed to do it anywhere.

"Wherever a parent feels is necessary, should be fine," says Hatch-Collins.

And that's what lawmakers say is the motivation behind this recently introduced bill.

"It's just a child is hungry and a mother wants to breastfeed. They can breastfeed," says North Dakota Senator, Tim Mathern.

Senator Tim Mathern is one of several lawmakers in Bismarck whose been working on the bill.

He tells us, this bill would make it an infraction to stop someone from breastfeeding in a place they are allowed to. Meaning, it would be against the law for a business owner to kick someone out of their establishment for breastfeeding. Something that Hatch-Collins tells us, is the step in the right direction.

"I think it's kind of wrong that they would kick you out so I do think it's kind of a good thing," says Hatch-Collins.

And that's not all that's included in this bill. It also takes out any language saying a woman must act discrete or modest while breastfeeding. The moms we talked to tell us, they prefer to cover-up while doing it but don't think everyone should have to. Other women tell us, Moms need to be discrete when they're breastfeeding and do it in a private space.

"I do think with a small baby you should probably put a blanket over you but that's all in preference of the parents," says Hatch-Collins.

This bill was just introduced. Senator Mathern tells us, there has been opposition from others in the committee.

We reached out to Macy Hornung, she's the mother that says she was kicked out of the Fargo Chick-fil-A last year. She also helped with the amendments of this bill. She tells us, the terms ‘modest’ and ‘discrete’ are subjective terms that do not belong in the legislature.

She also says, it's important to give women who are breastfeeding this protection.