WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced the bipartisan Lactation Spaces for Veteran Moms Act to ensure every medical center managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contains a hygienic, private space specifically designated for nursing for veterans, VA employees, and their partners. There are currently 90 VA medical centers across the country with such designated rooms, but these spaces are only for employees who are nursing, not veterans receiving care at the VA.
“All mothers deserve a private, hygienic place to nurse their children,” said Senator Rosen. “We can’t continue to allow for only half of VA medical centers to have a designated nursing room open to veterans and their partners. Mothers who are veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, the least we can do is give them privacy when they nurse by passing this bipartisan bill.”
“We should be doing all we can to support mothers and their babies by providing greater access to nursing rooms in public places,” said Senator Murkowski. “As the number of women veterans rapidly increases, we should make certain that we have adequate support services for them. Right now, only half of VA medical centers have a nursing room, so we need to change that. I’m proud to support female veterans by ensuring our VA facilities have nursing rooms that are accessible for employees, veterans, and their partners.”
A companion bill, introduced by Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-VA), passed in the House unanimously in May.
Senator Rosen is committed to fighting for our nation’s veterans and ensuring they have access to the care they deserve. Last month, Senator Rosen helped pass the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act to extend VA benefits and VA health care to all veterans suffering from illnesses as a result of exposure to burn pits and other toxins during their service. In 2021, she introduced bipartisan legislation to invest in veterans’ mental health and suicide prevention services at VA Medical Centers. Senator Rosen has also introduced several other bills to improve the VA, including the bipartisan Veterans Assistance Helpline Act of 2021 and the bipartisan Strengthening VA Cybersecurity Act of 2022, which just passed the House Veterans Affairs Committee this week.