During a recent Alex Jones interview, he noted that mother’s milk has antibodies that are designed to safeguard the baby’s health. The junior Democratic Senator from Oregon, Jeff Merkley seems to agree. In direct contradiction to his party, he has introduced S. 1244 to use the Civil Rights Act and tax incentives to encourage breastfeeding.
It appears to be the only Democratic “health care” plan that makes sense. The bill, currently, has six cosponsors.
Among other things, “The Congress finds”—
* The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively for 6 months and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of a child’s life, and that arrangements be made to allow a mother’s expressing of milk if mother and child must separate.
* Research studies show that children who are not breastfeed have higher rates of mortality, meningitis, some types of cancers, asthma and other respiratory illnesses, bacterial and viral infections, diarrhoeal diseases, ear infections, allergies, and obesity.
* Research studies have also shown that breastmilk and breastfeeding have protective effects against the development of a number of chronic diseases, including juvenile diabetes, lymphomas, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, some chronic liver diseases, and ulcerative colitis.
* Maternal benefits of breastfeeding include a reduced risk for postpartum hemorrhage and decreased risk for developing osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, and premenopausal breast cancer.
* The health benefits to children from breastfeeding translate into a threefold decrease in parental absenteeism due to infant illness.
The bill would allow 50 percent of the qualifying breastfeeding promotion and support expense up to $10,000. Qualifying equipment and services include breast pumps and equipment designed to assist a mother in breastfeeding if the equipment is approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and consultation services relating to breastfeeding.
It will provide tax incentives for businesses that provide breastfeeding facilities. It provides penalties for those who do not.
Section 501(a)(1), of the bill, provides, “An employer shall provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee for any work time spent for such purpose.”