Thursday, November 30, 2006

Breastfeeding Legislative Update - New York

Seeking to codify a concise, easily understood document, State Senator Liz Krueger has introduced the Breastfeeding Mothers' Bill of Rights. The legislation, S8511, draws upon New York State Rules and Regulations, the Best Hospital Practices and the World Health Organization Baby Friendly guidelines.
(link)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Airport Activism; DFW Protest Re-scheduled

Bet no one told them that what they were doing was "obscene" or asked them to leave. Hrmph.

The nurse-in which took place nationwide last Tuesday - but only for fifteen minutes or so at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International airport - has been rescheduled. The press release reads, in part:
Breastfeeding Rally To Take Place At DFW Airport

Nursing mothers and their supporters will be gathering on Friday, December 1 at 10 AM, at the Delta ticket counter in Terminal E of DFW airport.

On November 21, mothers and other advocates took part in a nation-wide nurse-in at roughly 40 U.S. airports. Like all of the rallies across the country, the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Nurse-in supported the right to breastfeed in all public and private locations, anywhere a mother and child might be, regardless of any issues of discretion. There was no formal national organization sponsoring this event, but amazingly, hundreds of mothers and other supporters turned out nation-wide. Unlike the rest of the nation, however, the supporters at the DFW Airport rally were harassed, insulted, and threatened with possible arrest by members of the DFW police (Department of Public Safety officers), and then asked to leave.

Though the right to breastfeed already exists, many people are unaware of this right, or may choose to challenge this right, or otherwise intimidate and cause discomfort for nursing moms, posing a great threat to the continuation and exclusivity of breastfeeding relationships and compromising the health of mothers and children, and the economic well-being of the society.

The issue of breastfeeding rights goes far beyond a woman’s right to nurse - it also encompasses a basic human right for children, the right to eat and to receive comfort and nurturing at the breast.

The Nurse-ins have been coordinated by volunteers.
So who's going?

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.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Delta/Freedom Lactivism

A woman in Burlington, Vermont was kicked off a Freedom Airlines-operated Delta flight when she was breastfeeding her infant before take-off and refused the offer of a blanket:

A complaint against two airlines was filed with the Vermont Human Rights Commission, although Executive Director Robert Appel said he was barred by state law from confirming the complaint. He did say state law allows a mother to breast-feed in public.

Elizabeth Boepple, a lawyer hired by 27-year-old mother Emily Gillette, confirmed that Gillette filed the complaint late last week against Delta Air Lines and Freedom Airlines. Freedom was operating the Delta commuter flight between Burlington and New York City.

A Freedom spokesman said Gillette was asked to leave the flight after she declined a flight attendant's offer of a blanket.

The spokesman was quoted as saying:
"A breast-feeding mother is perfectly acceptable on an aircraft, providing she is feeding the child in a discreet way," that does not bother others, said Paul Skellon, spokesman for Phoenix-based Freedom. "She was asked to use a blanket just to provide a little more discretion, she was given a blanket, and she refused to use it, and that's all I know."
Mesa Air Group, who owns Freedom Airlines, quickly backtracked:
Mesa Air Group, Inc. would like to issue the following clarification following media reports regarding difficulties experienced by a passenger aboard a Freedom Airlines flight. The statement by our Company spokesman on November 14, 2006 incorrectly described the Company's position regarding passengers' breastfeeding their children on Company aircraft.
There seems to be some disagreement on whether or not the family was offered re-boarding.

Ms. Gillette was interviewed on Fox's The Big Story w/John Gibson and by Mothering Magazine, which is providing ongoing coverage.

Hawthor the Cow Goddess did a comic.

Logo above courtesy of Daddy Types, snarky comments no charge.

A boycott is rumored.

A nurse-in took place last wednesday at the Burlington International Airport, and a nation-wide nurse-in at Delta and Freedom Airlines counters is sceduled for Tuesday, November 21 at 10:00 am local time. I'll update tomorrow.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wiggly Play Center in DFW Area


How did I not know about this?

Placentas in Strange Places

Placentas keep showing up on college campuses...
The state Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque [New Mexico] is reporting the fetus found Friday in the bathroom at Diné College in Shiprock was not a fetus after all.

The material found was actually the placenta from a childbirth, according to OMI.

Investigators believe a woman gave birth, possibly at home, then delivered the placenta at the school.

While no one has come forward reporting a problem giving birth, there is no longer a criminal investigation in the case.

Link

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Blogger Beta

I've switched over to the beta version of Blogger. The good news: tags are enabled. Bad news: it will take some time before I get everything tagged and the blog reformatted. Sorry if it's a mess in the meantime.

Military Moms

Breastfeeding123, in honor of Veteran's Day, discusses military policies affecting breastfeeding moms.