Saturday, September 22, 2007

Virginia's Breastfeeding Law & Jury Duty

I was asked if I knew. Here it is:

(Now don't abuse this law and take it as license to be an exhibitionist. Nursing in public can be done discreetly with modesty.)



Virginia has a law that exempts breastfeeding from their criminal statutes, clarifying that it is not a violation to breastfeed a child in any public place. In addition, Virginia law gives a woman a right to breastfeed on any property owned, leased or controlled by the Commonwealth. Effective March 20, 2005, mothers who are breastfeeding are exempt from jury duty, upon request.

A resolution, H.J.Res. 145 (2002), encourages employers to recognize the importance of breastfeeding and to provide breaks and space for employees to breastfeed or express milk; however, this resolution does not have the force of law.

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-387 1994 Va. ALS 398; 1994 Va. Acts 398; 1994 Va. Ch. 398; 1994 Va. HB 1188

Section 18.2-387 Indecent ExposureEvery person who intentionally makes an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present, or procures another to so expose himself, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present

Va. Code Ann. §2.2-1147.1, 2002 Virginia House Bill # 1264, 2002

Right to breast-feed
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast-feed her child at any location where that woman would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased or controlled by the Commonwealth as defined in § 2.2-1147.

Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-341.1 Exemptions from jury service upon request.

Any of the following persons may serve on juries in civil and criminal cases but shall be exempt from jury service upon his request:

8. A person who has legal custody of and is necessarily and personally responsible for a child or children 16 years of age or younger requiring continuous care by him during normal court hours, or any mother who is breast-feeding a child, (emphasis mine)

You can find other state's laws on breastfeeding here: