TSA to nursing mother: breast-pump can't go through security unless you pump your breasts first

High school vice-principal Amy Strand, a nursing mother mother of four, was told that that she couldn't clear the TSA checkpoint at Lihue Airport in Kauai with her breast pump unless she went into the women's bathroom and pumped her breasts out into the bottles. The TSA operative told her that the pump wasn't allowed through with empty bottles. There were no electrical outlets in the stalls in the restroom, so she had to stand over the sink and pump there. The TSA later apologized.

The agent told her the ice pack would not be allowed through security without milk in the bottles. Strand said the ice pack is specially made for the milk's cooler and would not be easy to replace.

"It really confuses me as to how an empty breast pump and cooler pack are a threat to national security and 20 minutes later, with milk, they no longer pose a threat to national security," Strand said incredulously.

She asked if there was a private place she could pump and was told there was not. The agent suggested she go to the public bathroom. Her electric pump required an outlet and there were no outlets in the stalls, so she had to use one in the bathroom's public area.

"There was no misunderstanding," Strand said. "I really only had two options: leave part of it behind or pump. And I'm not going to leave part of it behind because [the agent] doesn't know the police and procedures."

Mom With Breast Pump 'Humiliated' by TSA (via Consumerist)


  1. When is the population going to wake up to the fact that the TSA are a bunch of unregulated thugs who do whatever the &^$% they want to the people that go past them.
    Arbitrary decisions that bear no resemblance to any rules or guidelines seem to be par for the course with them AND there is no recourse to any higher power or common sense. If they decide that you aren’t allowed to take your iPhone onboard unless you can prove it’s edible, they get a free iPhone. Simple as that.

    Why is there no simple list of things that are not allowed, which everyone can read?

    On this particular example, it would have made perfect sense for a terrorist to take the pump through, go to pump “milk” into it and fill the bottles with liquid explosive. Exactly what the 50ml bottles rule is supposed to protect against.

    I’m surprised they haven’t already figured out : clear bottles with opaque drinkable fluid and a smaller bottle inside containing the bad stuff. “It’s milk for my baby Mr TSA man, look I can drink some”. Walk past throw the milk and baby away, keep the bad stuff and blow up a plane… Except that the whole explosive liquid bomb concept is supposedly not powerful enough to do much damage to a plane.

    1. Max – the TSA is a boondoggle and is meant to enrich the people who make back scatter machines, bomb sniffers, xray machines etc. 

      Secondly – it’s there to keep the unwashed masses in line and following Big Brother’s instructions like good little sheep. 

      Most Americans still don’t get it and they don’t want to.  They believe everything their government spoon feeds them through the Ministry of Truth (MSM) and feel their government is there to protect them. 

      Look at the behavior of Americans.  Congress has a 85% DISapproval rating. You’d think that would lead to massive changes during election cycles. Yet Congress has an 84% RE Election rating. 

      So we dumb Americans mostly disapprove of our congressmen/senators yet we re elect most of them too. 

      I hope GenX,Y and Millenials change this sad fact.  I hope we’re truly more informed than previous generations and that we act upon our collectively greater knowledge. Or maybe we just think Obama’s cool and that “our representative” isn’t so bad. 

      1. Congress as a whole is evil. Your own duly elected representative, if he has a corresponding letter after his name, is Holy and Good.

        If he ain’t, well…. If you want to get rid of him, you’re probably going to have to vote for the guy with the other letter after his name- and even though it’s the same shit in different packages, there’s enough variation in social policy (pro-life/pro-choice, etc) that wavering across party lines becomes impossible for most voters.

        Hell, choosing between the lesser of two evils is what I myself plan to do this year. 

        1. I disagree with my rep on a number of topics – Foreign Policy – The War on Drugs to name the big ones where he and I don’t see eye-to-eye (and yes I have met with him to discuss these very issues). 

          In my part of town his competition all had the same letter next to their name.  Fuck that letter.  I don’t give a shit about it. 

          I care about policy.  What do they believe and how will they vote on policy.  I don’t care about party. 
          As for me this year – I ain’t voting for the lesser of two evils.   I didn’t have to vote for the lesser of evils in ’08 either.   And why are talking about the POTUS race again??anywho. 

          1. I’m jealous- I have awful options on my area. And they all spout the same lines. I care about policy as well- and unfortunately, for my reps, party follows policy. There’s no allowance for variance here; it’s betrayal. 

      2. “…meant to enrich the people who make back scatter machines, bomb sniffers, xray machines etc.”
        I don’t think it’s meant to do that. It’s a result of deficiencies in the system. The fact that presidential candidates get caught up in it is a better indicator of just how fucked up it is.

        1. You don’t think it’s meant to do that but it does exactly that. 


          What do you mean it’s a result of deficiencies in the system? What deficiencies?  Which/What System? Why are we talking about presidential candidates? This was about booby sucking machines and the TSA being stupid, pointless, inefficient, unconstitutional, shitty, lame, useless-security-theater – did I mention shitty yet? 

    2. “When is the population going to wake up to the fact that the TSA are a bunch of unregulated thugs who do whatever the &^$% they want to the people that go past them.”

      I think the population is aware – they just don’t have the power to change much. Maybe if a couple Senators had to show the operation of their penis pump in order to be allowed on a plane, we would see some changes.

    3.  Suck it up, Americans have become pretty cowardly when it comes to standing up against abuses of authority.
      Why is this abuse continuing because too many cowards are comply and not enough couregeous people are just saying no, look here’s 500 different ways http://users.elite.net/runner/jennifers/no.htm.
      Just accept missing that flight, demand a refund and protect everyone’s rights.

    1. It’s an election year: call your Congresspeople and ask them what their simple stance is on the TSA.

      1. Most members of Congress have no simple stance.  They’re politicians, so they must constantly cover their asses, talking in cirlces, and appeal to everybody.

      2. I’ve already called, written and sent emails.  My congressman doesn’t like the TSA very much and I make sure to let him know that I despise the TSA. 

        Once Pilots were armed and cockpit doors reinforced the terrorists can’t really hijack planes as easily. 

        The focus the TSA puts on millions and millions of INNOCENT passengers is ridiculous.  It doesn’t provide any real security and simply makes the haystack 1000 times larger than it needs to be. 

        It’s not intelligent screening or helpful in stopping a terrorist plot. 

        It gropes us, slows us down and makes life harder for traveling Americans. 

        Fuck the TSA.  

        Yeah I said it. 

        Fuck ’em. 

  2. You people are coddling the terrorists who could be hiding liquid explosives in their breasts.

    SRLY, someone posted an article on BB a few years back exploring the likelihood that any liquid explosive could be used on a plane. The main claim was that you’d need to take two separate liquid components, one of them stored very cold, and you’d have to mix them together slowly for two hours while on the plane. Is that still valid? Can we get an update?


  3. When I first saw this story, she mentioned that the bottles HAD been full, but she’d poured them out to comply with the liquid ban.  Only to then be told she had to fill them up again.

  4. It just defies belief, doesn’t it? What was TSA guy expecting – the woman cracks under the pressure and admits: “Yes, officer. My left and right nipples lactate sulphuric acid and acetone respectively, it’s a fair cop, take me away!” The USA taxpayer supports the TSA, which demonstrably serves no useful purpose, but howls blue murder at the concept of ObamaCare (TM) that might actually serve to improve the quality of life for you guys. Here in Europe a lot of us are going W.T.F. 

    The taxation situation in the USA is perverse, “How dare you take my money and use it in a way that could benefit others (Limbaugh / Tea Party / etc)” but conversely, “It’s OK to take my money and spend it in a way that makes other people suffer.”

  5. Just to be clear, the issue was with the ice pack, not the bottles per se. I travel with two small children all the time and they let you take whatever liquids you want through as long as you say it is for the kids. Not that this makes much of a difference, obviously. The TSA agent should have been trained  to handle situations like this, and I am sure most wouldn’t care.

    1. Obviously the TSA agent should have been trained to sweep floors and empty wastebaskets.  I know I’d feel safer if they were all doing that instead of harassing passengers.

  6. It could have been worse… imagine if this agent intercepted a passenger carrying a penis pump.

  7. Good thing the lady wasn’t like another post-birth hormonal case that I know. The TSA would have gotten an earful. Probably end in a tazing.

  8. And another thing. What’s this with people thinking that a bathroom is an appropriate place to pump breastmilk? That’s food we’re talking about. For babies. Would that TSA agent prepare his own food in a public restroom? Would he eat lunch in a toilet stall?
    [okay, I’ll climb back off my soapbox now]

    1. While not the best place by a long shot, it at least provides power and some privacy. 

      You’d prefer her sitting on the floor in Concourse C next to the guy with the laptop?

          1. Is the TSA Obama’s idea of employing welfare cases and creating jobs, saving the tax payer money?

  9. That must be this Freedom-thing you USians have and the rest of the world has not. At least thats what you like to tell us …

  10. is there any law against having shit delivered to the TSA?   I mean, why can’t people band together and purchase shit and send it to the TSA’s many, expensive and publicly paid for offices?  I’ll bet that a website set up to receive donations to buy shit and send it to the TSA would do huge business in a matter of days if not hours. Think of all the tanker trucks of liquid horse manure, the porta-potty pumpers, the pig farm shit trucks and all those other potential sources that could provide the TSA with shit. There can’t be a problem with sending them the shit if it’s legally bought and paid for. They aren’t being forced to receive it after all.

    Just think, there’s absolutely no doubt that there is enough TSA staff dumb enough to accept all this shit sent to them regardless of what orders come down from their bosses (they prove that every day by illegally abusing the public contrary to official operating instructions).. If enough people send shit to the TSA maybe they will finally float away in a river of it and solve the problem of their existence once and for all.

  11. In of all places, Kauai, the Garden Isle.
    Full of good, peaceful, thoughtful, practical, helpful, democratic people as I have ever had the chance to live among.

    What evil indeed has the TSA wrought on the people of Hawaii that they must treat guests this way ?

    Wait until Neil Abercrombie, former Congressman and now Governor hears of this.
    Why wait ? Contact him today !
    Ask him in dollars and sense if coming to Hawaii is worth your hard earned dollars.
    Boycott the TSA !

  12. This makes me extra-sad, as the Hawaii TSA agents have always seemed remarkably sensible to me. Maybe the TSA official have cracked down after realizing that their henchmen weren’t humiliating passengers, causing delays, or crippling the US transportation system enough.

  13. Government agencies really need to stop acting as though an apology actually fixes the problem. Yeah, an apology is nice, and they should be done, but most of the time, that’s as far as it goes.

Comments are closed.