Texas lawmaker starts breast-feeding debate on Facebook

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - A state representative's comments on controversial legislation have started a debate over breast-feeding on Facebook.

Texas House Bill 1706 would give nursing mothers the right to sue if someone tries to stop them in public.

State Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball took to her Facebook account to publicly say she doesn't support the bill.

"...it is important for women to be modest while feeding their baby, and most women are modest and respectful but, a bill that would allow for law suits if one "interfered"... is really going a bit far," wrote Riddle.

Angry moms fired back.

"I think that one should tread carefully when speaking of legislating modesty. A business owner's right to ask a woman to cover should not supersede a hungry baby's right to eat," wrote Jasmine Moran.

Michelle Hickman, the director of activism for Best for Babes Foundations, spoke about the issue on Thursday.

"They're real incidents that are happening to real moms," said Hickman.

Hickman said strengthening the law gives moms a sense of comfort.

"With the enforcement provision, the businesses are going to be more likely to come to a quick apology to rectify things because that's all the moms really want is just, 'I'm sorry we'll train our employees and we'll do better,'" Hickman said.

Riddle told Local 2 that while she's "all for breast-feeding, we don't need to bury ourselves under the weight of more laws and more litigation, when common courtesy and common sense is taking care of this issue for thousands of years."

The bill remains in the Business and Industry Committee.