TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, a staunch advocate for breastfeeding mothers and workers, says she is deeply concerned of the continued discrimination they face following the accusation that first lady Tammy Murphy refused to accommodate a breastfeeding state trooper who was assigned for personal security. Dunn is calling for a full investigation into the matter to ensure compliance with rules regarding accommodations for breastfeeding law enforcement officers and women in the workplace.
“The first lady runs on a platform of maternal health, yet denies a state trooper the ability to safely express and store breastmilk while on duty because of ‘optics?’ My colleagues and I on the Women and Children’s Committee have continued to advance the rights of working mothers, and if this accusation is true, Mrs. Murphy just set us back,” Dunn (R-Morris) said.
Dunn says her desire to help mothers returning to the workforce through policies like creating lactation rooms and milk banks stems from her own mother’s breastfeeding advocacy – she was a member of the La Leche League.
“Working moms should never be subject to discrimination for breastfeeding their child. My mother faced a lot of criticism, but had the courage to carry on because she knew how critical it was to healthy development. Every mother deserves the right to pump and breastfeed in a sanitary location,” she added.
According to the state trooper’s claim, she was barred from using a facility at the Murphys’ home to pump breastmilk after returning from maternity leave because of the “optics by guests who may be on the premises.”
“The hardworking moms and women of New Jersey deserve better. New Jersey must do better,” Dunn said. “Breastfeeding workers have rights – we need to make sure they are respected and accommodated.”