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Thousands Turn Out for More than at 100 Applebee's Nurse-Ins Around the Country

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Reports are in and it seems there was quite the turn-out at the nationwide Applebee's nurse-ins this past Saturday. According to Birth Without Boundaries, more than 2000 breastfeeding supporters showed up at more than 100 restaurants in 44 states. That's a pretty hefty turnout, especially when you consider the Delta nurse-in garnered around 800 supporters at roughly 36 airports.

On the down side, Applebee's showed that they seriously don't get it by issuing a public statement that included the following:

We ask that mothers who nurse their children in our restaurant do so in a respectful manner.

Funny, that doesn't sound like an apology to me, it sounds a lot more like "well SHE started it!" It also makes it clear they don't understand that Kentucky state law doesn't give them the right to define their own version of "respectful manner" and enforce it. Kentucky law simply says that a mom can feed her baby.

Besides, as with the discreet argument, who the heck gets to define what a "respectful manner" actually is?

The good news is that many Applebee's restaurants were supportive of the moms that showed up for the nurse-ins. Some even report that the managers came out to speak with them and brought drinks and cookies. I'm not surprised. Even if the corporate office doesn't get it, I have no doubt that many Applebee's around the country are managed by men and women who respect and support a child's right to eat. I say kudos to the managers who were so supportive last Saturday!

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  1. Blogger Redspiral | 8:41 PM |  

    I'm always so proud to be a nursing mother (well, formerly, and um.. future...ly?) when things like this come together. I just wish we could get women together this well for *birth* issues, too.

  2. Blogger Ahmie | 8:02 AM |  

    much harder to have a big target for birth issues, tho the folks who organized this nurse-in - birthwithoutboundaries.com - may have some ideas (haven't had the chance to fully explore their site yet).

    Del and I were at the North Olmsted, Ohio nurse-in. Another mama organized it as I couldn't - had out of town visitors in for Del's church dedication the next day so too much going on in the house to add organizing on top of it, knowing I could only stay for ~30min at the demonstration. I think the organizer is a new friend tho :) Gave her some gauze to use as a wrap carrier yesterday.

  3. Anonymous Mommy's Getaway (TamP) | 8:38 AM |  

    So a dumb question (maybe not so dumb though) - if she had called the police, could the police have issued a citation or fine or something when the manager broke that law? I think nurse-ins are great when used properly, but what are the real "law" consequences of the manager breaking it? I know they will lose all kinds of business, but what happens when they actually break the law?

  4. Blogger The Lactivist | 8:46 AM |  

    It depends on whether or not there's any type of enforcement policy in place.

    Some states have a "remedy" on the books that says there's a fine of a certain amount. Some have case history that says you can file a case with the state civil rights commission.

    In most cases, the law simply protects a mom from being arrested for the actual nursing. Unfortunately, the business owner still retains the legal right to revoke the mother's right to be on the property for any reason. At that point, the mom can be arrested for trespassing if she refuses to leave.

    It's the whole "a right without a remedy is no right at all" line of thinking. Unfortunately, it's the situation most states find themselves in.

    That's why the breastfeeding laws we have are great, but most aren't worded strongly enough to really give moms any RIGHTS, they simply give them a little more firepower in trying to get people to back down.

  5. Blogger mommymichael | 9:24 AM |  

    that's not counting all the people that showed up to applebees and the news didn't report it. like OUR applebees. we had over 40 ppl in our little area. not counting children.

  6. Blogger Tuan's Princess | 4:22 PM |  

    momymichael - please join this yahoo group and report your location and numbers. It will help us towards getting a more accurate number. How exciting to have such a great turnout!

  7. Blogger Tuan's Princess | 4:28 AM |  

    oops - I feel silly! *blush* Here is the link for that yahoo group! http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/bwb_lactivist/

  8. Anonymous Julia | 7:40 PM |  

    There were four of us (+ 4 babies) at a local Applebees across town from a large organized protest...So I'm sure wew weren't "counted" either. I could not get into the Yahoo group without being a member to report.
    Was glad to see our local Fox news gave it coverage at least 3 times that weekend!

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