State Rep. Karlee Macer fights to improve health outcomes for Hoosier mothers and babies

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INDIANAPOLIS—State Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Speedway) today introduced a proposal that would have eliminated the state gross retail tax on breastfeeding items, including: breast pumps; breast pump kits; breast pump replacement parts; and breast pump collection and storage supplies.

Macer’s amendment to HB 1059, which deals with sales tax of recreational vehicles, was defeated by House Republicans.

“Indiana currently ranks 43rd for infant mortality, we have the 3rd worst rate for maternal mortality and the 3rd worst ranking for children’s health,” Macer said. “We have more mothers dying during childbirth, or up to a year after, from complications in Indiana than in the Gaza Strip. Anything we can do to help Hoosier mothers and babies must be done now.

“The governor wants Indiana to be the best state in the Midwest for infant mortality by 2024, and yet the Republicans continue to vote down legislation that would help Hoosier mothers and babies.

“Indiana law already provides sales tax exemptions from items like lottery tickets. If you don’t pay sales tax to play the lottery, you shouldn’t have to pay sales tax to feed a newborn.

“Breast milk is food. Indiana law already exempts food from sales tax and a breast pump is necessary to feed a child.”

This amendment was voted down 41-51, with only Republicans voting no.

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