The Mix

Breastfeeding at Freddies

Get your emergency contraception here, just don't feed your baby in our store.
I'm trying to be a patriot and follow our president's wishes about what I should do in the bedroom, but it's getting awfully confusing. First, apparently, I'm supposed to be abstinent. (Or was that obstinate? I always confuse the two.) Then, if I am going to have sex, it best be the married-kind. And then, married or not, if I do get pregnant -- no matter what the situation, no matter how broke I am, how unprepared I am, or how raped I was -- I am supposed to keep the baby.

Alright, suppose I did all that, here comes the kicker. Once I do have the little crying helpless infant attached to my hip everywhere I go (since it's not like there's nationally-subsidized daycare or anything), I'm not supposed to breastfeed it in public, even though breastfeeding is still generally considered to be the healthiest, most economical, and most sanitary way to get nourishment to a newborn.

Actually, for now, at least, 31 states protect a women's right to breast feeed in any public or private location. Of course, Oregon is one of those states, and that's where a woman breastfeeding in a Fred Meyer store was recently asked to cover up or, preferably, leave. Fred Meyers was singled out as one of the stores that not only stocks and sells emergency contraception but even has a sign up at the pharmacy to alert customers to the fact.

Of course Fred Meyers isn't the only culprit. Starbucks has also been singled out for asking breastfeeding mothers to leave. What's a confused patriotic mother to do? Stage a nurse-in, of course. (Watch the video of some University of Texas students doing just that here (click on the upper left hand side).
Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.
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