Georgia Supreme Court rejects licensing of lactation consultants

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a state law requiring lactation consultants to be licensed is unconstitutional.

The court found that the 2016 law violated the rights of lactation consultants to practice their profession without “unreasonable government restriction.”

Under the law, lactation consultants in Georgia were required to earn a certification from the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, a process that included training courses and hundreds of hours of experience.

“Certainly, there is nothing inherently harmful in the practice of lactation care, and there is no evidence of harm to the public from the provision of lactation care and services by individuals who lack an IBCLC license,” Chief Justice Michael Boggs wrote in the Wednesday decision.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who voted against the law when he was a state legislator, praised the court’s ruling. Raffensperger’s office was the defendant in the case because the law required his office to issue licenses to lactation care providers.

Raffensperger recently created a commission to review professional licensing requirements in Georgia.

“Disputes such as these should not result in multiyear lawsuits costing time and taxpayer dollars to arrive at a commonsense solution,” Raffensperger said. “Cutting red tape is my priority.”