Rhode Island bill introduced to exempt breastfeeding moms from jury duty

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a bill that would exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury service.

Mimi Desjarlais with the state Breastfeeding Coalition tells WPRI-TV there is no specific state policy in place, which could give nursing jurors mixed signals.

Hannah Bonoyer says when she was called for jury duty she was told there was only a bathroom available for breastfeeding. She asked to defer her service but wasn’t allowed. Court officers found an empty jury deliberation room for her to nurse in.

A state judiciary spokesman says there’s no dedicated space for nursing jurors in state courthouses.


Sixteen states allow nursing mothers to postpone or be excused from jury duty.

Democratic state Rep. Julie Casimiro of North Kingstown introduced the bill.

Bonoyer says she is behind the proposal “100 percent.”