Monday, August 11, 2008

Breakin' the law

Every time I look for news articles about breastfeeding, I come across a story about a mother who's been kicked out of a restaurant or asked to leave a store because she is feeding her child. Most of the time this happens in places where breastfeeding in public is a legally protected act. Because of this common occurrence, Kansas is now handing out laminated cards that explains the state's breastfeeding statute, which allows a woman to nurse her baby anywhere she's legally allowed to be. If someone asks her to leave, there is a number she can call on the back to report the incident. Awesome! But is it enough?
Typically people who break laws face some sort of consequence. What is the consequence for an ignorant store clerk who asks a breastfeeding mom to cover up or be kicked out? Sometimes these stories reach the local or national news outlets and maybe heads roll and someone is fired. I can imagine the store clerk at the Vancouver H&M is feeling some heat now. But is even that enough? Should there be legal penalties for harassing a breastfeeding woman? Sen. Tom Buford of Kentucky thinks there should be. He's offered to carry a bill that would include penalties in the already existing law.
What do you think? Is this a good idea? Will it help our case or harm it?

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