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A mother breastfeeding her child was kicked out of Minneapolis Central Library by a security guard - and someone oughta throw the book at the library for backing him!
The book says what they did was illegal. According to National Conference of State Legislators, Minnesota has one of the most progressive breastfeeding laws in the country. One of 45 states that allows breastfeeding in public, MN is also one of 28 that exempts it from public decency laws (no requirement to cover the breast) and one of 24 with laws that protect it in the workplace.
After police explained the law to the guard who broke it, Hennepin County Security promised to stay abreast of Minnesota laws from now on, but the library still has some explaining to do.
The public library, of all places, ought to actively promote breastfeeding, and MCL should launch a public awareness campaign to prevent further crimes against nursing mothers.
Tell MCL to obey and promote Minnesota’s breastfeeding law.
We, the undersigned, are very concerned by the way this nursing mother was treated in your library.
She was treated like a criminal when it was the guard and the library employee who broke the law. As is often the case, such lawbreakers need only to say they’ll change, while the average citizen breaking a law faces court charges, jail and sometimes worse.
Clearly Minnesota’s law has taken a very progressive stance on this issue, and it does so to its own benefit and that of its citizens. As NCSL explains in its introduction to state breastfeeding laws:
Health professionals and public health officials promote breastfeeding to improve infant health. Both mothers and children benefit from breast milk. Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from bacteria and viruses. Breastfed children have fewer ear, respiratory and urinary tract infections and have diarrhea less often. Infants who are exclusively breastfed tend to need fewer health care visits, prescriptions and hospitalizations resulting in a lower total medical care cost compared to never-breastfed infants. Breastfeeding also provides long-term preventative effects for the mother, including an earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight and a reduced risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and osteoporosis. …As a part of the Healthy People 2020 initiative, the national goal is to increase the proportion of mothers who breastfeed their babies in the early postpartum period to 81.9 percent by the year 2020.
This information should provide a good basis for the educational campaign we ask you to launch to create awareness of breastfeeding laws and benefits.
Thank you for your attention to this request.