Current weather

  • Clear sky
  • 59°
    Clear sky
  • Comment

'Lactivists' protest outside Evans courthouse

Posted: March 5, 2012 - 2:15pm  |  Updated: March 6, 2012 - 9:47am
Back | Next
Michelle Fogle holds her baby Liam, 3 months, in front of the Columbia County Justice Center where she was participating in a nurse-in to protect her right to breast feed her baby in public.  Jim Blaylock
Jim Blaylock
Michelle Fogle holds her baby Liam, 3 months, in front of the Columbia County Justice Center where she was participating in a nurse-in to protect her right to breast feed her baby in public.

Twitter @JennaNMartin

A sign hanging near the front steps of the Columbia County Justice Center Monday that read “Don’t Be Lactose Intolerant” reinforced the message a group of nursing mothers hoped to get across to lawmakers.
About 20 women, a handful of husbands, and numerous children gathered at the Evans courthouse for the nurse-in protest, which was part of a statewide effort to bring awareness to discrimination faced by mothers breast-feeding in public.
Several signs made by protestors, who called themselves “lactivists,” were taped to garbage cans surrounding the group. One stated, “If adults can eat it public, so can babies.” Another proclaimed breast milk “The Original Happy Meal.”
“I don’t think Evans has ever seen this before,” said local event coordinator Heather Comprosky.
The idea for the nurse-in started when Woodbine, Ga., mother Nirvana Jeannette was forced out of her church for breast feeding and told by law enforcement she could be arrested for indecent exposure.
As a result, events similar to the one in Evans were held Monday in Atlanta, Woodbine, Savannah and Warner Robins.
“When women are under attack, we look out for one another,” said Andrea McPherson, who also helped organize the Evans nurse-in.
The lactivists hope to change state law to protect mothers nursing in public from being harassed and arrested. Anyone currently caught nursing in public face charges of indecent exposure and a maximum fine of $1,000.
“We’re not strippers,” said Comprosky, who nurses her 18-month-old son, Wyatt. “We believe the law needs teeth.”
Evans resident Kristin Lovell heard about the event on Facebook, where 50 people had confirmed their attendance.
Lovell brought to the nurse-in her husband, Steven, and four of her five children, all of whom she breast fed.
“It just seems as the years go by, breast feeding becomes more taboo,” said Lovell, who breast feeds her 8-month-old son, Jake. “It’s just a shame that people are being told it’s obscene and not to feed their children.”

  • Comment

Comments (45)

Just My Opinion

Be careful what you ask for....

...ladies, because you might just get it. If you want the total freedom to breast feed in public, then don't be surprised by the people who will be gawking, and maybe saying snide comments. That's just the way it is, but I think you already know that. It's alot like someone who has a bunch of tatoos and piercings...people are going to look at you. Some might say that you subliminally WANT people to look at you....I honestly don't know about that. And how do your husbands REALLY feel about someone looking at you while you breast feed? Personally, it is alittle awkward, but if you've got it all covered up, then it's not that big of a deal. Just be discreet about it and not "in your face"...for lack of a better term.

belle

Table manners

If it's rude to put your elbows on the dinner table, it is CERTAINLY inappropriate to whip out your boob and stick it in your kid's face. Time and place matter.

Dixieman

?

Is this a problem in Evans? Columbia County? Or just in other parts of Georgia? If the latter, what's the purpose of protesting in Evans? Sheeeeesh!

liveoak

Why controversial?

I don't get why feeding a baby is so controversial. People should be able to bottle feed or breastfeed their baby when they need to without stressing about it.

GaStang22

It seems to me most people do

It seems to me most people do not have a problem with breastfeeding in public when done the right way. If one does it respectfully you really can't even tell. There are TONS of trashy women who do it without class just to draw attention to themselves. Why not take your beef up with them instead of making a public display about it. Ever notice when these moms whine about people asking them to not do it there is never a video, just their version of they were descrete vs all the rest trying to eat swearing their kid saw a nipple?? I've seen women do it without any respect for anyone else around, then chicken neck because they get eyerolls and gasps. Why aren't you out there reaching them to stop doing it then the ones who are respectfully doing it wouldn't have a problem. Starting to think these nurse-in people are really bored people!!! Its not about the children eating like adults can like you say, its about not being trashy about it like strippers as you claim you don't. Well SOME do!!

There is no Reason at all you HAVE to do it in public to start with. I can't stand the argument, well my baby needs to eat, how dare you. Pump it into a bottle for when you are in public. Is that short amount of time going to really hurt your baby? What do working moms do that breast feed, go out for a mom's day out, go the store while dad watches them. PUMP it into a bottle!!!!

I hope they DON'T change the law. And hope Mc D's sues over using their "Happy Meal" in your quest! A classless breast feeder is NOT the image I want related with a happy meal! And your slogan about lactose intolerance is offensive to those who are!!!!

I have no problem with breastfeeding even in public, but the fact these women want to make a spectacle out of something that isn't a necessity or really relevant in terms of you have no other options is as selfish as preventing a business owner from opening a smoking establishment. And just as silly as my McD's and slogan complaints!!!!

GaStang22

hmm comment held, well maybe

hmm comment held, well maybe this one will go until the other comes through.

Ya know usually when I see a mother not being descrete and a nip pops out I just think to myself how classless she is and move away. Now I think I'll just start calling the cops and pressing charges. Never though about that around here becuase there are tons of disrespectful people around. But if a spectacle is going to be made of it in my area, why not. Thanks for the encouragement!! =)

Riverman1

Any Arrests Made?

If no one was arrested, maybe it's time to change the law to make it legal?

stillamazed

What?????

The US is the only country with a hang-up when it comes to breast feeding. Other countries embrace it and it is a natural thing. I have never seen a woman out and out trying to show her breast while breast feeding. I breast feed all three of my babies and I had a cover to use to hide my breast. How could anyone in their right mind think it is indecent for a mother to breast feed a child when that it what a woman's breast were designed for? You see a lot more than that on TV commercials now days, even walking around the mall with young girls butt cheeks hanging out their shorts. Mind your own business, don't look and get over it. Stop trying to run peoples lives, once again the government should have no involvement here.

billcass

Really?

If this is the most important issue in your life, consider yourself blessed. Must we make a cause out of everything? Feed your kid, be discreet, and leave it at that. Good grief.

belle

what????

I appreciate your respect for yourself, your baby and others around you. However, it is the 'others' that are complaining. I HAVE seen someone breast feed carelessly at the dinner table in a restaurant without discretion and if you look at the photo on Sunday's paper announcing this protest you will see a woman breastfeeding indiscreetly. I agree completely with gastang.

GaStang22

stillamazed, you said you had

stillamazed, you said you had a cover, thats discrete and respectful. I doubt anyone would have a problem with that. Have you seen the other article on here just like this one? The girl with the tiny pink shirt showing her stomach while feeding, those are kind of the people that make people be against it. With no cover, it takes a lot of work to make sure nothing pops out with something like that. That looks like a couple of situations I've seen. They lean over to get something and baby lets go and pop, all exposed. Small child goes mom look at that and laughs so you look and they want to say something smart like what like you never seen one before. Why have that attitude? I'd be apologetic, actually I'd use a cover. Why is it so hard for some of these moms to be discrete and tasteful? Don't like it, don't look??? Good one, they call attention to themselves usually!!!!!!!!! Human reaction when someone goes ut oh and starts laughing or the kid goes I see a boobie make human reaction turn to look. That would never happen if they just used a cover!!! Those are the ones who give nursing moms a bad name why not address those. So a bunch of bored moms want to protest... not because it is rampant mothers can't nurse anywhere but a few incidences where someone was asked to leave because it offended other people. Or a very few incidences where a mom was doing it respectfully and an employee made a bad call and asked them to stop. Ive seen no one arrested for it and they wouldnt be embarassed by the ones in the wrong asking them to leave if they were descrete with their complaints and went to a higher authority of the establishment. But nooooo they can't, they have to make a scene and draw attention to themselves, isn't tha what its really about?? If not they sure do a good job at making it look that way!! =)

GaStang22

How many have been arrested

How many have been arrested for the nursing?? So why is there such a need for all these sit ins? You will not change the minds of your fellow citizens who do not want to see it and when they protest and start costing businesses lots of money, then the stores will build nursing areas and I guarantee you that won't be good enough because they need to shop and feed at the same time, it will be to time consuming. And if that is ok the why not go to your car a discrete corner of the store.......or just use a cover.

None of this would be such a big issue if the few select moms had a little more class and respect for others when doing it. Changing the law about being arrested will do nothing to stop the nasty comments and looks from others...and will actually increase them and cause an unhealthy environment from the nasty words and chicken necking that may lead to a violent confrontation........ use your child and put them in bad situations to make a point rather than using a cover, common sense and class??? pointless protests and confrontations. The target incident wasn't even in a state that has a law against it supposedly, but they had to make a scene with their kids to have police called?? And people support this.

These nurse in people are hurting their cause. Instead of educating women on how and why to be discrete they support the bad actions of a few and protest laws that arent even used. Pointless and a waste of time making them look like drama queens not pioneers paving the way further hurting the cause. Bored attention seekers is more like what it looks like, not genuine moms concerned with the welfare of their children.

GaStang22

lol Thanks belle, I guess you

lol Thanks belle, I guess you are referring to the same woman I am. lol They want to flaunt it almost to dare someone to say something and then whine about it when they get the negative attention the knew they were asking for. I don't get it. lol Yes some trashy women do wear less clothes out in public, but if they showed that certain part that pops out, I'm sure people would have something to say to them too!! lol And the women wearing the skimpy clothes people keep referring to get the same looks and are asked to leave when it is not appropriate!! lol I seen on tv the other day a protest for women to show their chests in public because men do... it too flopped and the indecent exposure law still stands!! lol

Casting_Fool

What a bunch of prudish,

What a bunch of prudish, hypocrites. You'll wear a bikini to the beach, dress like hookers (yes, you church ladies), and watch R rated programs on TV, but you freak out when some loving mother breastfeeds her baby in public.

Hmm... maybe you weren't breastfed as children?

What's wrong with a "boob" (that's a breast for some of you) accidentally showing when a mother breast feeds? That's what God designed them for, it shouldn't matter!

I'm a man, and I loved my wife's breasts (she died in 1992), but it doesn't bother me at all to see a mother breast feeding in public. It gives me a good feeling to see them doing what my wife wanted to do but couldn't because of her medical disorder.

Most women are discrete and cover while feeding, and it would be proper manners to NOT LOOK at her and the baby while the baby feeds.

Which, apparently, ALL of you are doing! Why are you looking at her? Do you "get off" on watching women breastfeed?! Or are you just looking for a reason to control someone else's life? Church ladies are really good that that...

I love the term "lactivists". You go, ladies! :O)

kirstypie

seriously?

The "indecent woman" you all are referring to happens to be my sister who happens to be wearing a pretty regular t-shirt. You can only see a tiny peek of her belly button. Scandalous! I have seen plenty of beer bellies more offensive than this. Most of these comments are pretty laughable (seriously feeding a baby in a bathroom?!) and I am happy to brush them off as the backlash that comes with any social change movement. However women are increasingly targeted with legislation and commentary that seeks to oppress and shame. I for one am immensely proud of my navel baring sister and all of the hard work and energy she puts into advocating for the rights of children and mothers. She is an inspiration! Planning this event was no easy task and as much as it has raised awareness it has also made my sister (and others) the objects of some pretty nasty personal attacks. I want to thank all of the women, children, husbands, and allies that participated in the nurse-in-- keep up the good work! This is an important battle to fight.

Milkmom

Breastfeeding, a factual perspective

I feel the need to point out a few facts here since I see some of the commentors are unfamiliar with breastfeeding.

In Georgia, a woman has the right to breastfeed anywhere WITHOUT a cover. The woman on the cover of the newspaper was doing nothing obscene or illegal.

Many breastfed babies refuse bottles. Many babies refuse to have a blanket covering them and yank it off. Eating under a suffocating, hot blanket doesn't appeal to them.

Pumping milk before leaving the house is not feasible for several reasons. Some moms do not own the pump, bottles, or sterilizing equipment necessary to pump. Many breastfeeding moms choose to keep their babies close and breastfeed on demand. Babies grow so much in their first year of life, you never know when they'll be hungry. Planning outings based on when a baby may be hungry is impractical. All moms are busy, and to say that someone should spend an hour pumping in order to leave the house for several hours just so nobody knows she's breastfeeding makes no sense.

Breasts are not reproductive organs. If you are titillated by a glimpse of them as a baby nurses, that is your issue. They are for feeding babies, and most of the world realizes this. The more often breastfeeding is seen in public, the more normal it is, and that is how change happens. It used to be a scandal when a woman wore pants, well, thank goodness some women were brave and wore them anyhow, or I would be typing this in a long gown and corset.

Breastfeeding is here to stay. Moms are being encouraged to breastfeed by the AAP,  the Surgeon General, their pediatricians, other moms, etc. If you don't like seeing it, don't look!

GaStang22

That is exactly what I mean.

That is exactly what I mean. People who just don't get it. Its not her shirt, not her belly button, not her stomach, its the way its done and when done that way with a shirt raised like that and no cover, too many times the breast and nipple has been exposed reaching for something, when the baby pulls off etc..... Did neither one of you posters actually read the posts and understand the point? Obviously not. The same way you don't get there is nothing wrong with a woman breast feeding in public, but when you don't take care to be discrete an show full breast and nipple you are being lewd, even if it is by accident, because common sense tells you to prevent that and no one said SHE did it, but she is a good example of the situation where it could happen a lot easier if just a light cover was used. Is it too hard to use a cover especially when wearing a t shirt you have to raise that high? I mean they have to sink down to make sure everything is covered, one slight raise in position, there it goes!!

GaStang22

Casting even you said most

Casting even you said most women are discrete, acknowledging some aren't. There wouldn't really be an issue if there werent some plain out lewd when doing it. Being lewd has nothing to do with feeding a baby.

GaStang22

And woo hoo you changed an

And woo hoo you changed an unused law. That will not stop the comments and nasty looks. The way to stop that is educate and speak out against the lewd ones making people and their children feel so uncomfortable. You would have tons more support for your cause. But thats not even addressed...why?? Too boring. More fun to raise a stink about something that doesn't really change anything except protect you from being arrested for showing your nipple to children and strangers??

GaStang22

And it has nothing to do with

And it has nothing to do with being hypocrites or prudes, but especially when young children are involved its not your place to determine what they see as far as a womans nipples go or if a natural instinct some people have to seeing it 2 feet away while eating are uncomfortable or grossed out. Then YOU are controlling them and being a hypocrite. How about when you are eating and someone farts 2 feet from you, do you enjoy the smell or even the sound with your chicken? Wouldn't it be respectful to others for them to excuse their self for that though they aren't obligated? Hey.... don't complain or even think a bad thought....its natural.

GaStang22

It says a post was made by

It says a post was made by milkmom, I dont see it.

whyamihere

You don't have to watch!!!!

Why are we the only people in the World who thinks breastfeeding is sexual or anything but natural. Probably because most people never were breastfed or saw their mother breastfeed a brother or sister. That situation changes how you look at breastfeeding a lot. We all should be thanking mothers for giving their children the best start. I just read an article in the newspaper (not this one) about children under 5 years old who are given sweet drinks and need to be put under a general anesthetic to have their teeth fixed. Most women I know that breastfeed know how to be covered up so that you don't even know what they are doing unless you STARE. I don't like being stared at when I am eating. We need to grow up and stop acting like children when it comes to breastfeeding.

GaStang22

Whyamihere, I totally agree,

Whyamihere, I totally agree, but the ones that act more like exhibitionists about it and start a ruckus with their baby in their arms when someone does look, make a comment, or anything else they don't like rather than being discrete and looking the other way should grow up too and there would be so much less of a problem. Sticks and stones about Stares and words. This whole thing would then not be an issue, or not anywhere near as much at least.

You said 3 things very nicely. 1. Probably because most people never were breast fed or saw their mother breastfeed a brother or sister. = so accept the fact others were raised different as a breast feeder asks of them, be discrete and if someone wrongly acts like a jerk about it walk away, not argue with your baby in your arms. 2.That situation changes how you look at breastfeeding a lot. = the situation of discreteness and respect for others also changes the situation a lot as in there wouldn't be as much of an issue about it. 3. We all should be thanking mothers for giving their children the best start. =Absolutely 100% and most of us applaud them when done with class in public, but the best start is also not exposing them to you fighting or shouting about it in their presence. Better to walk away and save that fight for another time rather than in front of them and be escorted out by the police. =)

GaStang22

To commenters with the

To commenters with the argument that fits here: Just because other trashy women may dress inappropriately in those same places does not mean they get a free pass, they get the stares and comments too. Bikinis, time and place, not at red lobster or walking through the mall.

Casting_Fool

GaStang22 wrote: "There

GaStang22 wrote: "There wouldn't really be an issue if there werent [sic] some plain out lewd when doing it. Being lewd has nothing to do with feeding a baby."

There's nothing lewd about breastfeeding a baby. What is this issue with breasts?! Especially from women! While I admit that as a man I loved my wife's breasts, there's nothing wrong with breastfeeding, even if an ignorant staring bystander gets a glimpse of a breast.

You're not supposed to be looking!

And then you wrote: "And it has nothing to do with being hypocrites or prudes, but especially when young children are involved its not your place to determine what they see... How about when you are eating and someone farts..."

I was taught as a little child to not stare at people, have people stopped teaching their children to do that? It's not your place to determine how or where a mother can feed her baby. That reeks of prudish behavior, and even socialism and domination over others.

Teach your kids to be polite and not to stare. And for Pete's sake, teach them what breasts are really for instead of letting the TV and movies teach them that breasts are for sex.

I just can't believe that you equated breastfeeding with passing gas. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.

I have no problem with a mother breastfeeding at the next table in a restaurant. I'd notice, smile, and continue to enjoy my dinner. If I heard a slurp, or a "pop" as the kid disconnected, I'd grin and think that his or her dinner was apparently well appreciated.

My son is grown now, but when he was a little tike, had he noticed a woman breastfeeding and asked what she was doing, I'd have told him in plain terms and then instructed him not to stare.

In my world, God designed how breasts work. He called Eve "good", along with all of the other works of His hands. Who are we to attribute evil to God by saying that breastfeeding is something that is only "good" if it's done in secret?

Babies need to eat when they need to eat. Breasts are not sexual objects to babies. If breasts are a sexual and/or lewd object to you personally, then you have a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Leave nursing mothers alone, teach your kids about the true nature of breasts and to not stare at people, and stop staring and complaining about a creation of God being used as it was designed to be used.

GaStang22

No one mentioned staring but

No one mentioned staring but when some loudmouth brings attention to herself you happen to look and when you see whole breasts and nipples exposed, its not appropriate, it is actually illegal. If you don't get that then I can't help but to wonder what other public nakedness you think is acceptable and YOU have a problem that may need to be dealt with. And I never once said my kids, but its no one else's place to show any other parents kid those parts and you do not know what I let my kids watch on tv nor how I raise them so don't let MY kids show up in another one of your posts!!!

GaStang22

Wow I feel bad for the mom's

Wow I feel bad for the mom's that never get a moment away from their baby for anything. Not even the dentist, a health procedure or just a little time for themselves because their kid could get hungry at any time and only their breast will do. They better keep themselves in great shape, never have an accident or suffer the pain a few years. lol

Casting_Fool

GaStang22, I'm a red-blooded

GaStang22, I'm a red-blooded American Christian male who respects women who are seeking their right to feed their babies. In my 55 years, I've never seen a woman deliberately expose her breast(s) in a "lewd manner" while breastfeeding her baby. Never.

"... some loudmouth brings attention to herself you happen to look and when you see whole breasts and nipples exposed..."

Some woman "announced" that she was breastfeeding, and whipped out her bosom for the world to see? I sort of doubt that. I personally do not find a breast that's accidentally exposed during breastfeeding either erotic or enticing. If "... you happen to look...", then you should be respectful and look away.

I was married to a loving woman who wore culottes and a blouse while swimming (by her own choice), I don't approve of any public nakedness, even on the beach, and I consider a bikini nakedness.

I wrote a paper on the topic, you can find it here: http://www.dracosanctus.net/goldentriangle.html It's called "The Golden Triangle". I suggest that you read it if you really want to know what I think about public nakedness.

I wrote: "Teach your kids to be polite and not to stare. And for Pete's sake, teach them what breasts are really for instead of letting the TV and movies teach them that breasts are for sex."

I'm not sure why you took offense at that as it had nothing to do with your kids but was a general statement. However, writing "... so don't let MY kids show up in another one of your posts..." is the first half of a threat. In my own humble opinion, that was not wise.

... and breastfeeding is not illegal in Georgia, or 45 other states. For that matter, 25 states exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws. http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx

I'm still wondering why you never addressed why you equated breastfeeding with ignorantly passing gas in public. I found that extremely offensive. How could you make that sort of comparison? Those two things are world's apart.

Casting_Fool

GaStang22, I'm a red-blooded

GaStang22, I'm a red-blooded American Christian male who respects women who are seeking their right to feed their babies. In my 55 years, I've never seen a woman deliberately expose her breast(s) in a "lewd manner" while breastfeeding her baby. Never.

"... some loudmouth brings attention to herself you happen to look and when you see whole breasts and nipples exposed..."

Some woman "announced" that she was breastfeeding, and whipped out her bosom for the world to see? I sort of doubt that. I personally do not find a breast that's accidentally exposed during breastfeeding either erotic or enticing. If "... you happen to look...", then you should be respectful and look away.

I was married to a loving woman who wore culottes and a blouse while swimming (by her own choice), I don't approve of any public nakedness, even on the beach, and I consider a bikini nakedness.

I wrote a paper on the topic, you can find it here: http://www.dracosanctus.net/goldentriangle.html It's called "The Golden Triangle". I suggest that you read it if you really want to know what I think about public nakedness.

I wrote: "Teach your kids to be polite and not to stare. And for Pete's sake, teach them what breasts are really for instead of letting the TV and movies teach them that breasts are for sex."

I'm not sure why you took offense at that as it had nothing to do specifically with your kids but was a general statement, as was most of the rest of my comment. It was not directed toward anyone or anyone's children in particular.

... and breastfeeding is not illegal in Georgia, or 45 other states. For that matter, 25 states exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx

I'm still wondering why you never addressed why you equated breastfeeding with ignorantly passing gas in public. I found that extremely offensive. How could you make that sort of comparison? Those two things are world's apart.

Casting_Fool

Well, I've tried twice to

Well, I've tried twice to respond, but seem to be running afoul of the moderators. C'est la vie

Follow News-Times:

News-Times Video »

CONTACT US

  • Main: 706-868-1222
  • Fax: 706-823-6062
  • Email: cnt@newstimesonline.com
  • 4272 Washington Rd, Suite 3B, Evans, Ga. 30809

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES