Mothers Welcome Here

Posted on August 19, 2005
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Last week, Chandler issued a directive that would have criminalized nursing in public. Following public outcry, the city set aside the directive and formed a task force to "study" the issue.

I'm all for studying issues, but a little common sense may be all that's needed here. Infants need nourishment every few hours. Unless we want to confine nursing mothers to their homes, infants will occasionally have to eat in public.

If this makes someone uncomfortable, looking away is a civil solution. The alternative is to turn nursing moms into criminals or segregate them to public restrooms (wonderful places to eat, no doubt).

Most mothers are discreet. To quote Leah Landrum Taylor (D-16), "I think if everybody just reflects a little bit... they probably can say that they've never witnessed a mother with a raincoat on, opening it wide open, and then going and trying to feed and nurse her child... There is a blanket... to provide a sense of comfort and privacy." A little common sense in applying the state's indecent exposure laws would go a long way.

A mother should not need a permission slip from government to feed her baby. Instead of prosecuting mothers, Chandler might consider an alternative resolution: "Mothers Welcome Here."

Key Links:
- East Valley Tribune: "Chandler debate puts breast-feeding in the spotlight"
-50 State Summary of Breastfeeding Laws

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