A Georgia mom is planning a “nurse-in” after being told by a manager at a Covington Applebee’s that she needed to breastfeed in the restaurant’s bathroom or leave the restaurant altogether.
According to Dawn Holland’s lawyer, Laurie Rashidi-Yazd, “She was seated in the back of the restaurant and few people were there. She was nursing and approached by the manager of the store who gave her the option of feeding her child in the bathroom or leaving. She refused to feed in the bathroom and asserted her right to breastfeed her son. The manager called 911, my client also called 911 and the police responded. No police report was filed because there was no criminal law implicated.”
However, Dawn was mortified at the ordeal. And her lawyer says she has yet to hear back from Applebee’s on the local or national level. They have filed a complaint and now hope their case will raise awareness about the issue. In Georgia, it’s not illegal to breastfeed in public places. However, according to Rashidi-Yazd, “The civil right to breastfeed really has no teeth. There is no consequence if someone does not allow a woman to nurse, just the recognition of the importance of breastfeeding.”
That’s not good enough for them, or others who want to make sure the right to breastfeed is protected.
Dawn is now hoping to help get the law changed. She’s organizing a “nurse-in” protest at Applebee’s restaurants on Saturday, September 29th, at 1pm, hoping to build awareness around the subject.
What do you think of this issue? Is the law good enough the way it’s written, or should there be a penalty for businesses that don’t observe the rights provided to breastfeeding mothers? Should breastfeeding mothers have to handle feedings away from public eye, even if it’s in a restroom? What would you do if you were in Dawn’s shoes?