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State Lawmakers Urge NH House to Vote for Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller and Slate Goodwin

Phone: (603) 271-3207

CONCORD, NH — Earlier this week, House Republicans immediately moved to table SB 69, Senator Becky Whitley and Senator Rebecca Perkin Kwoka’s bill requiring certain employers to provide access to a sufficient space and a reasonable break period for nursing mothers to express milk during working hours, without allowing for debate. The bill had previously been dramatically amended during committee of conference to limit the scope of protections for nursing mothers in the workforce. Representative Alexis Simpson, Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka, and Senator Becky Whitley issued the following statements in response:

Representative Alexis Simpson (D-Exeter): “The assault on women’s rights in New Hampshire runs deep, and this week it descended even further as the NH House Republicans refused to pass reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.

This is a bill aimed at helping working women in New Hampshire in the midst of one of the most severe labor shortages in the history of the United States. Over the last two years, we have lost women from the workplace in droves. We need to help women get back to work. One of the easiest ways we can help breastfeeding mothers stay in the workforce is to give them space and time to express milk during the workday.”

Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (D-Portsmouth): “NH women and babies need us to pass something that will meet the needs of employers, new mothers, and their babies. As a mom with a 4-month-old, I need accommodations like this to make it possible to return to work while I continue to nurse my daughter. The House needs to remove this bill from the table and vote to pass it this session to make it easier for all women to return to the workforce after having their children.”

Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton): “SB 69 as originally passed by the Senate was the result of extensive bipartisan collaboration and years of advocacy work on behalf of women and families. The version before the House had been dramatically limited following the committee of conference. To deny members the opportunity to debate in favor of these minimal protections is just another example of the Republican prerogative to restrict the ability of New Hampshire women to have the same opportunities as their male counterparts.”


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