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Should Women be Able to Breastfeed in Public?

Doylestown is considering a breastfeeding ordinance to protect the rights of women to breastfeed in public.

In Pennsylvania, women have the legal right to breastfeed in public. But just because it is a state law doesn't mean that all businesses are aware of the law or uphold it.

To ensure businesses don't infringe on a woman's right to breastfeed, many places—including Doylestown—are drafting ordinances to protect this right.

At a meeting on Monday, July 16, Doylestown Borough Council president Det Ansinn asked his colleagues to look into drafting an ordinance that would make it illegal for Doylestown businesses to infringe on a woman's right to breastfeed.

"We want to protect women who breastfeed their children in town," Ansinn said. "It’s a public health issue. [Breastfeeding] is permitted by law, and we want to make sure that our businesses and public places are following the law."

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 45 states have laws specifically allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are among them.

In April, one northwestern city took those protections a step farther. The city of  Seattle passed an ordinance making it illegal for a business to ask a mother to leave or to cover herself or the baby while feeding.

And the new federal healthcare legislation enacted protections for employees who need to pump breast milk for their babies. The new law requires that businesses and institutions provide "a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk."

Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll and commenting below.

CyD252 March 16, 2014 at 03:37 PM
Let me make sure I understand... A woman, breastfeeding her child, constitutes sexual harassment against you? You must be terribly repressed.
Kevin March 16, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Im asking you cyd252.Arent you p.c. types the ones who come up with all the harassment rules? By your logic any man could expose his penis and urinate in public.Its a natural thing to do,no?
Λάρισα March 16, 2014 at 05:15 PM
There's a huge difference between eating in public and urinating/defecating in public. Kevin, if you don't want to see a baby eat in public, please do not eat anywhere outside of the confines of your home. Plain and simple. =) I covered my child when I breastfed because I didn't want skeevy perverts like yourself checking out my breasts, but my baby still ate wherever and whenever he felt like it. And any child I have from here on out will do the same. Oh and, there's not a thing you can do to change that. Ho-hum!
CyD252 March 16, 2014 at 08:18 PM
Kevin - In the examples you provide, you are either engaging in an action that is completely self-serving (sexual exposure), or you are engaging in an action that leaves behind noxious, malodorous waste (public urination). As such, neither of these are acceptable. If I do not wish to see a nearby woman breastfeeding, I am free to look away. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law agrees.
Lavender Green March 17, 2014 at 09:33 AM
While I am completely for people having rights and believe me I think everyone should be treated fairly, I just wonder why anyone would actually want to sit in a public place and nurse their child! Not that it is not natural because it is, but so are other things that are not legal to do in public. I say if your going to pass laws such as this why not pass laws for equality in and to all, don't discriminate. Of course then there is the fact that a woman can show her breasts to feed her child and it be ok but a woman who is a dancer in a bar showing her other assets is looked down upon, ever think she is doing this to feed her kids? I say except all or keep your boobs in your blouse!

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