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Mothers fight breastfeeding discrimination

Proponents of public breastfeeding are taking action to protect their rights to feed their children, protesting against businesses that ask women to cover up or leave.
Emily Hales, Deseret News Modified: July 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm •  Published: July 13, 2014

Recent conflicts between stores and employees and nursing mothers are bringing attention back to the issue of public breastfeeding.

Although there is a consensus that breastfeeding is the healthiest and best option for new babies, as reported in the Deseret News, the debate continues over whether or not nursing in public is inappropriate.

Breastfeeding in public is legal in all 50 states, but businesses like Barnes and Noble and Walmart have come under fire recently for asking nursing mothers to cover up or leave, according to Salon and Huffington Post. In response, mothers are taking action.

A mother asked to leave a New York Barnes and Noble came back the next day with 15 other nursing mothers for a "nurse-in," a form of protest that is common after an incident of breastfeeding discrimination. She also contacted the Barnes and Noble corporate office, but got no response, and finally involved the state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman.

The result? Schneiderman ordered the store pay $10,000 to a local breastfeeding support group, and mandated breastfeeding sensitivity training for the store's employees. Barnes and Noble also released a statement saying it is "committed to ensuring our stores continue to be a welcoming environment for breastfeeding mothers," according to USA Today.

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