KeKe Palmer took to her Twitter page to share her experience navigating the often inconsistent rules around breast milk and breast pumps at the nation’s airports.
In her early morning post on June 12, the frustrated new mommy said that she faced threats of her breast milk being tossed out while traveling through an airport in Houston, Texas.
“Breast milk discrimination at the Houston airport ruined my mood. I should’ve popped my tit out right then because the discretion and comfort of pumping is thwarted with threats to throw out over 16oz my babies food?!?!!! Why is that not a crime??” Palmer tweeted.
The post’s replies were filled with mothers and parents who had experienced equally stressful instances regarding breast milk and breast pumps while going through airport security.
“I’ve had this issue in soo many airports. TSA really needs to get it together,” one Twitter user responded.
Legislation for Change
The Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening (BABES) Act was passed in 2016 — which is a law aimed at making it more simple for travelers to get through TSA airport checkpoints with breast milk and related accessories. Unfortunately, flyers continue to face issues with TSA agents requesting that they throw out breast milk or the cold packs used to keep it chilled ahead of boarding planes.
In repose to these issues, in 2022, Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) introduced the Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening (BABES) Enhancement Act. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) joined Rep. Porter as co-leads of the BABES Enhancement Act. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
“The BABES Enhancement Act would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to work with maternal health organizations to issue and update guidance promoting safe handling of breast milk, infant formula, and accessories that preserve these products,” a statement on the act details.
The updated act would also require an “independent watchdog” that would “provide oversight to hold TSA officers accountable to the standards.”
TSA also provides a very detailed breakdown of the rules around breastmilk on its site. However, consistent application of these rules remains an issue for parents traveling through airports.
Though she faced some airport struggles this week, Palmer has been extremely busy over the last several months following the birth of her son Leodis “Leo” Andrellton Jackson in February.
Palmer and her boyfriend, Darius Jackson, have shared several photos of their son social media.
Palmer also recently opened up to BuzzFeed about Black women being sexualized at a young age by the media.