Illinois State House District 4 issued the following announcement on Aug. 19.
A bill sponsored by state Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, that expands access to baby changing stations in Illinois has been signed into law.
“Our world is changing and caregiving responsibilities are being shared more equitably, especially by younger parents,” Ramirez said. “Public facilities often do not accommodate for this by limiting access to baby changing stations to only women’s restrooms. This is inconvenient and perpetuates sexist stereotypes that only women are supposed to be caregivers.”
Baby changing stations are not always available, and when they are, they are often only located in women’s restrooms. This practice disadvantages single-fathers, families with same-sex parents where there is no parent that identifies as a woman and fathers who take a more active caretaking role for their child. House Bill 3711 requires restrooms that are open to the public in a public building to be equipped with baby changing facilities that are safe, sanitary, and usable for mothers and fathers. The law defines public buildings as a publicly or privately owned sports or entertainment arena, stadium, community or conventional hall, special event center, amusement facility, or an event center located in a public park. The bill also encompasses retail stores of more than 5,000 square feet that contain a public restroom and restaurants with an occupancy of 60 persons or more that contain a public restroom.
“Limiting baby changing stations to just women’s restrooms excludes many different types of families from having a basic resource afforded to them,” Ramirez said. “This new law will help us modernize our state’s policies and make public restrooms friendlier to families by recognizing and supporting the evolving family structure.”
Original source can be found here.