WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Congressman Darren Soto’s amendments to help traveling new mothers and pregnant women passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4). Both amendments passed unanimously by voice vote.
The first Soto-introduced amendment requires the proposed lactation rooms at commercial airports to support mothers who are breastfeeding to have have sanitation equipment. The mothers’ rooms sanitation equipment includes at minimum a sink. Previously, the bill only included a chair, table, and electrical outlet. With the inclusion of Soto’s amendment, new mothers traveling will now conveniently have increased access to sanitation.
Rep. Soto’s second amendment would require the FAA Administrator to consider the potential emergency medical needs of pregnant women when evaluating the minimum contents of approved medical kits. Previously, the bill had only specified the consideration of children’s medical needs. Obstetrical symptoms, while rare causes of in-flight medical emergencies, should be given this consideration to prepared in such situations.
“We must always be conscious of the additional barriers and sensitivities new mothers and pregnant women face in their day-to-day lives,” stated Rep. Soto. “As we consider the millions of people who travel through the Orlando area airports each year, I remain committed to helping all passengers, including new mothers. My amendments will specifically have long-lasting health, sanitation, and convenience benefits for traveling mothers. I’m pleased to see this legislation passed with broad support. Helping our families and new mothers is one of my top legislative priorities, whether at the airport, at home or in the workplace.”
H.R. 4 authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration to operate for the next six years.