WASHINGTON — It’s a victory for mothers in Virginia as the governor signed two identical bills into law this week that protects a mother’s right to breast-feed her baby in public .
Virginia was one of only three states in the nation where women haven’t had the right to breast-feed their children in public until now. The two remaining states are Idaho and South Dakota.
Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the bills Monday afternoon.
“It’s great that Virginia is catching up to the rest of the country and hopefully can be a leader on this issue,” says Rebecca Geller, a Fairfax mother of three and a lawyer who helped push for the change.
In 2014, Geller asked her delegate, Del. David Albo, R-Fairfax, to introduce a breast-feeding bill. She says the two of them used a Texas law as a guide to craft it.
The other bill, which is identical, was inspired by another mother, Kate Noon, of Richmond.
Previously in Virginia a woman could only breast-feed on property owned by the commonwealth. The new law won’t take effect until July 1.
“It’s a great day for Virginia to show Virginia stands for women’s rights and protects women’s rights for feeding their children,” Geller says.