CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Missouri House unanimously approved legislation that would allow mothers to nurse in public and excuse them from jury duty.
The bill is a response to a recent incident in which a judge cited a Missouri woman for contempt of court and fined her $500 for breastfeeding her baby during jury duty.
"I think with the first child I was unsure how others would react, but yeah, it's just kind of what we do now," Melanie Needling said.
Needling is currently nursing her child. She couldn't believe this wasn't a law on the books.
"There have to be allowances made for that so that we are able to nourish when we need to do that," Needling said.
Over at University School for Young Children in Cape Girardeau, Kimberly Rueseler believes there's not many things more important than breastfeeding your child if you can.
"Just that one on one with a parent and there child is a great thing and just having the breast milk and the nutrients for the baby is wonderful," Rueseler said.
The bill allows nursing mothers to be excused from jury duty with a written note. It states breastfeeding in public or private would not count as sexual conduct or be considered public indecency. Also, local governments could not enact ordinances that restrict breastfeeding.