State's High Court Grants Accomodation To Breast-Feeding Mothers

The state's highest court has ruled that breast-feeding mothers must be accommodated when taking medical exams.

"Our decision," the Supreme Judicial Court wrote, "recognizes that there remain barriers that prevent new mothers from being able to breastfeed or express breast milk."

The Globe provides the background:

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Sophie Currier, who in 2007 needed to sit for an exam so that she could begin a medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was breast-feeding her child when she sat for a portion of the National Board of Medical Examiners’ test in June 2007 and was refused time away from the exam, or a place, to pump breast milk.

The AP adds: "The court said that in refusing to provide additional break time, [the board] did not violate [the former Harvard student's] civil rights. But the court said Currier had provided enough evidence to raise an issue as to whether the board violated her rights under the Massachusetts Equal Rights Act."

Update at 3:30 p.m.: CommonHealth wrote in much more detail about the case when it was being argued at the SJC in December.

This program aired on April 13, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Benjamin Swasey Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.



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