Vivian Morales, a NYC mother was put out of a courtroom because she was breastfeeding her 9 month old baby.
Earlier today as Vivian accompanied her fiancé to a hearing at the Bronx Criminal Court (161st and Sheridan) their 9 month old baby became hungry. Being a breastfeeding mother and knowing her rights as being one she discreetly began nursing her child abiding by all of the courtroom rules.
“I was nursing her when suddenly an officer came and told me that I couldn’t breastfeed. I explained to her that legally I had the right to do so but she argued that I didn’t.” said Vivian during our interview. The NYC mother of one then proceeded to send her child outside the room with a friend so that she could concentrate in the hearing until the officer approached her again, “I sat there by myself for about a minute before she [the officer] hovered over me again, pointed at me and told me ‘No I’m putting YOU out.'”
Feeling harrased and embarrassed, Vivian was forced to leave the courtroom, she had to call a third friend to come and take her place during the hearing to be able to keep herself informed of the ruling.
“I was hurt for being made felt like I was doing something wrong or inappropriate.” – Vivian Morales
Vivian quickly turned to one of the facebook communities she belongs to and asked for detailed information about breastfeeding laws in the state of NY. The supportive responses soon invaded Vivian’s post. Mothers all over NYC felt angry seeing how breastfeeding mothers are still being shamed for nursing in public.
The New York Civil Rights Law clearly states the following:
79-e. Right to breastfeed. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breast feed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether or not the nipple of the mother’s breast is covered during or incidental to the breast feeding.
According to the law Vivian’s rights to breastfeed in public were violated. The breastfeeding mother decided she would write a formal complaint about the incident so she spoke to the supervisor of the Court House asking her for the name and badge Id of the officer that had put her out failing to obtain it. She then proceeded to reach out to another officer in hopes that this one would help her but instead she overheard him criticizing her for wanting to file a complaint. “While I was waiting for the information to report her, two officers that were behind me were taking about the incident as If I were doing something wrong for reporting it,” Said Vivian.
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