Thursday, September 14, 2006

ACLU Goes After Toys "R" Us

This week a New York woman breastfeeding in a Toys"R"Us was asked to go elsewhere (because there were "children around"). It seems like I hear a report of this nature almost every week, but this time the ACLU has gotten involved:
In a letter to the company sent today, the NYCLU sought a meeting with Toys "R" Us officials; an apology; appropriate compensation for Meyerson; and a written guarantee that Toys "R" Us would permit breastfeeding in its stores and would train its staff about the policy.

Galen Sherwin, Staff Attorney for the NYCLU Reproductive Rights Project, added: "This is about public health, not public morality."

Twelve years ago the NYCLU lobbied for and secured the passage of a law that specifically establishes the right of all New York mothers to breastfeed in public. That statute, a section of New York State's Civil Rights Law, provides that "a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be."

"Prohibiting public breastfeeding is bad public health policy -- and it's also against the law," said Elisabeth Benjamin, NYCLU Reproductive Rights Project Director. "Health care providers and the law agree that families who choose to breastfeed their children should be able to do so whenever and wherever necessary."
Although I'm not usually a big fan of the ACLU, I'm glad to see that this is being viewed as a civil/human rights issue. As I have said before, I do see it more as the infant's right to recieve appropriate nutrition rather than the mother's right to breastfeed.

But if I were Ms. Meyerson, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for any "appropriate compensation".

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