Bébé Voyage, a community and resource for globetrotting parents, is demanding improved conditions for families going through airport security by organizing a grassroots lobbying effort in support of the Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening (BABES) Act [HR 5065/ S 3299]. The BABES Act, introduced by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and Senator Kelly Ayotte, would improve training for Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officers around existing policies and procedures regarding transporting breastmilk, formula, and infant feeding equipment in carry-on luggage.
“We’ve heard from our community horror stories about going through airport security with a baby: whether it’s being told that expressed breast milk or formula needs to be dumped, ice packs for them being confiscated or breast pumps being mishandled and broken. Not to mention the excruciatingly long time it takes TSA agents to inspect and test these liquids which are permitted according to the TSA’s own rules! Then we found out about the BABES Act and we finally feel like we have the power to do something about it!” –Marianne Perez de Fransius, Bébé Voyage CEO
With peak family travel season in full swing, Bébé Voyage is calling on individuals to send letters to their Senators urging them to sign on as cosponsors of the BABES Act and pass this important piece of legislation prior to the end of the year. They are also requesting that organizations sign a petition to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and Ranking Member Bill Nelson urging discharge from committee so that the bill can move to a Senate vote. The letter explains the motives:
“By better training TSA agents, we hope to improve the situation not only for families, but also for other passengers who will not be delayed by waiting for TSA agents to needlessly test breast milk and formula or inspect breast pumping equipment. In fact, the BABES Act represents a measure that will better assist TSA personnel to do their jobs in a more efficient and effective manner, freeing them up to focus on real security threats.”
With Congress in session only through December 16, Bébé Voyage is working hard to mobilize parents and organizations that work with them in order to see this legislation passed before then and hopefully making family travel a little less harried.