One metro area in Atlanta, Georgia has decided that they are no longer OK with mothers feeding their children in public — at least, not if she’s giving them the breast.
Via WSTBtv.com, a new law that was just passed in Forest Park has redefined public indecency to cover women who breastfeed any child that is 2 years old or older, with the City Manager stating, “It sets up a process whereby we can try to control nudity throughout the entire city.”
To be fair, only about six percent of the U.S. population breastfeeds past two years old, even though the World Health Organization recommends it to age two and beyond. But the ban represents a disturbing opening for pushing women out of public life simply by taking something she does naturally and calling it “indecent.”
How exactly is the “2 years and up” rule to be enforced? If a mother wants to bring her 22 month old daughter out to the park, and the child gets hungry, does she need to be sure she has her birth certificate on hand to prove she is not breaking a law? Is there an opening for citizen’s arrest or complaints? What if a person thinks breastfeeding a one year old is lewd? Or even an infant?
The City Manager says it is a step to controlling “nudity” though the whole city. It is, in fact a step to establish control, but what type of control is the city after? The rule is simply a step in ensuring that women who are caring for children feel pressure to be at home, and out of the public eye.
Once it has been established for ages two and up, how long will it take for such a ban on public feeding to expand until eventually all nursing mothers are forced to stay in their houses.
In the name of “public decency,” of course.