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Tuesday, January 23, 2007Apparently the United States isn't the only place where women run into problems nursing in public. The Toronto Star reports that some northers in the Canadian city of Toronto have experienced some problems breastfeeding in public. As such, the Toronto Public Health commission is urging the city's health department to create a new policy that more clearly defines the rights of a woman to nurse her child in a public location.
The issue of women breastfeeding in public has at times stirred controversy, with occasional instances of mothers breastfeeding in restaurants, movie theatres or parks being asked to stop.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission says nursing mothers have legal rights.
Its policy states, in part, "You have the right to breastfeed a child in a public area. No one should prevent you from nursing your child simply because you are in a public area.
"They should not ask you to `cover up,' disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more `discreet.'"
To note, the Star is also asking for input from the public on the issue of nursing in public. If you'd like to share your two cents, you can use their online form to share your comments.
Here's what I sent...
It never ceases to amaze me that some people have a problem with children eating in a public place.
I think it's very easy for some people to claim that a mother "shouldn't" do this or that. (A mother "shouldn't" breastfeed in public, a mother "shouldn't" breastfeed without covering up, and so on.)
If they'd take the time to stop looking at it from that perspective and to start realize that what they are ACTUALLY saying is that a child doesn't have the right to eat in public or the right to eat without a blanket over their heads, they might realize how silly they sound.
This isn't a mother's rights issue, it's a child's rights issue.
In other words, it's not about my right to breastfeed, it's about my child's right to eat.