It's being called a "maternal twist on civil disobedience." Thousands of mothers headed to Target stores nationwide yesterday to stage nurse-ins.
The public breastfeedings are taking place to protest what organizers are calling a humiliating experience that one mother had while nursing her baby at a Target store in Texas, according to the group's Facebook page.
"When she was asked to move to a private location, she refused, and was harassed and humiliated by three separate employees. She then called Target's corporate customer service number and was told by a representative, and then her supervisor that they were aware of the laws, but ...that just because something is lawful doesn't mean its acceptable in their store," the group writes on its page.
The nurse-in was scheduled to take place at Targets across the U.S. at 10 a.m. on Dec. 28. The mother behind the protest plans on going back to Target with her 5-month-old son to nurse him,Time Healthland reports. She could be joined in solidarity by the more than 6,000 members in the Facebook group.
Protection Under the Law
Connecticut is one of 45 states that have laws protecting a mother's right to breastfeed in any public or private location, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
And it was just this year that U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin issued a Call To Action to Support Breast Feeding, which was underscored by the fact that 75 percent of babies begin their lives breastfeeding.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, writes in a document outlining that call to action (attached):
"This Call to Action describes specific steps people can take to participate in a society-wide approach to support mothers and babies who are breastfeeding. This approach will increase the public health impact of everyone’s efforts, reduce inequities in the quality of health care that mothers and babies receive, and improve the support that families receive in employment and community settings."
Time Healthland reports that the woman behind the protest received an email from Target that stated: "guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable.”