The Gist: In a ruling that could affect lactation care providers across the state, the Georgia Supreme Court has deemed the Georgia Lactation Consultant Practice Act, that mandates the licensing of lactation care providers, unconstitutional.
The court upheld the right of the providers to pursue their lawful occupation free from “unreasonable government interference.”
What Happened?: A dispute between Mary Jackson, a certified lactation consultant, the nonprofit organization Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), and the office of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger led to the ruling.
The Act required lactation care providers to acquire a license from the Secretary of State, only issued to those certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Jackson and ROSE claimed the Act violated their due process and equal protection rights under the Georgia Constitution. After an earlier dismissal, the case was remanded back to the trial court, with the Supreme Court reversing the trial court’s due process decision and vacating the equal protection decision.
By The Numbers:
- The Act was passed in 2016
- The Supreme Court first heard the case in 2020
Why It Matters: The court’s decision significantly impacts lactation care providers across the state. The profession, deemed lawful by the court, can now be pursued without the previously required license. This development can lead to increased accessibility to lactation care services for mothers across Georgia.