Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Delta Lactivism Update - Today's Nurse-In

Today, at 10 a.m. local time, breastfeeding moms and their supporters converged on 39 airports across the US, and as an act of protest, nursed their babies. While some locations only had a handful of participants, others - like Portland, Oregon and Vermont's Burlington Airport - drew upwards of 40 adults and countless children.

Motherwear's Breastfeeding Blog has a very good summary of the incident and the coverage. I just want to point out that the event was covered on NPR's All Things Considered and ABC's World News Tonight. Locally, CW33 covered the nurse-in - or lack thereof.

And now we come to the part of the post where The Mommy Blawger gets very angry and walks around the house aimlessly, muttering to herself.

At the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport this morning, six women and nine children arrived at the Delta ticket counter area for the nurse-in. After about 15 minutes - and, they say, after only one baby had been breastfed, as if it matters - they were approached by a police officer and asked to stop. While discussing the finer points of Texas law with the officer, she reportedly told one of the women that what she was doing was horrible, indecent, offensive, awful, obscene, reckless, and disorderly. One officer quickly became three, and the women were told they could be arrested for indecent exposure or disorderly conduct.

Let's review:
Texas Penal Code § 21.08. INDECENT EXPOSURE. (a) A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.
Title 5 does not define "genitals", but last I checked, breasts were not considered genitals.
Texas Penal Code § 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly:
(10) exposes his anus or genitals in a public place and is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act;
No breasts there either. How about this one:
Texas Health & Safety Code § 165.002. RIGHT TO BREAST-FEED. A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.
Ah, how simple. Is it really too much to ask that police officers be familiar with the law? The statue was only enacted eleven years ago, so maybe the word hasn't gotten out yet.

After being informed that they needed a permit to hold a demonstration, the mothers packed up and hiked over to Administration, where they obtained said paperwork.

There will be more blogging on this topic. Much more.


Throw in the blanket? said...

Thanks for the update. My problem with this entire fiasco is the double standard most people aren't talking about - that women are not allowed to bare a brest in this society unless that breast is selling something! But for its intended purpose, we're supposed to be made shameful?

Jennboree said...

Wow. Just happened upon this blog. I'm a huge advocate of breastfeeding and our rights as mothers to do so. I live in the DFW area and I am ashamed of our law enforcement for such behaviour. Our society's take on boobs truly baffles me.