ACT NOW: Support Stronger Protections for Breastfeeding Parents, Foster Parents and Pay Equity.

At NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, we believe strongly in supporting Texas families and promoting economic & gender equity.

We often say that we’re pro-choice and pro-life because we believe that every person in this state should decide for themselves whether, when and how to parent and that no one should be forced to continue a pregnancy they cannot or do not want to continue. We support common sense policies that make contraception and preventative health care available to everyone who needs it. But we also strongly believe that every Texas family deserves to be valued and respected and we are backing all policies that provide the societal support that can improve the health and well-being of all Texas families.

Today the Texas House committee on Business & Industry will hear five bills that provide support to Texas families, allowing for greater protections for breastfeeding parents, foster parents and pay equity. We support this legislation and ask that you join us in taking action to support them now by emailing the committee chair, Rep. Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville), and encouraging the committee to vote these bills out.

Here are the bills we’re supporting today:

HB 742 Jessica Farrar (D-Houston): Rep. Farrar’s bill would ensure the right for a mother to breast feed her child and would prohibit others from interfering in this right, such as expelling a her from a premises because she breast feeds her child. It also provides for a legal cause of action if someone interferes with a breastfeeding mother.

HB 443 Armando Walle (D-Houston): Rep. Walle’s bill also provides protection for breastfeeding mothers and would require public employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time for an employee to pump and provide a private space (that is not a bathroom) to pump.

HB 329 Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso): Rep. Gonzalez’s bill provides for the creation of a list of “mother-friendly” worksites, which support breastfeeding mothers.

HB 228 Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston): Rep. Thompson’s bill would bring the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to Texas. This is the same bill that Rep. Thompson and Sen. Wendy Davis passed with bipartisan support in 2013 and then-governor Rick Perry vetoed.

HB 88 Mando Martinez (D-Weslaco): Rep. Martinez’s bill would make it illegal for an employer to provide for paid leave for an employee to care for their child and not allow the same leave to care for a foster child. Given the foster care crisis in Texas today, it’s more important than ever that our Legislature develop policies that support foster families and ensure the best possible care for these vulnerable children.

Click here to send an email to the committee chair, letting him know that you support these positive bills.

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