PUBLIC OPINION > Public Breastfeeding Should Be a Civil Right
Living 2012/04/09 13:00:00
In 1999, Congress passed a bill that permitting women to breastfeed on Federal property, and as of 2009, 47 states have laws in place specifically permitting breastfeeding in public. However, despite the government's attitude toward the practice, it has frequently been met with resistance by establishments that are not comfortable with it -- restaurants, airlines, retail outlets. Now a group of Seattle mothers are trying to sponsor a local bill to make public breastfeeding a civil right, placing it in the same category as racial and gender discrimination. We asked the public if that would be a good move.
If Seattle courts are on the same page as the general public, it should be a no-brainer. Most people would like a law in place that makes it impossible for establishments to ask mothers to breastfeed outside or cover up. However, many respondents, even those who voted "Yes," pointed out that it's not difficult to bring a blanket. One commenter wrote, "I understand that it's a natural thing, but women could use some courtesy and put a blanket over said boob."
A lot of voters seemed concerned that a woman's right to breastfeed might be compromised if it's not made a civil right, but conservative voters weren't so sure. This is probably because conservatives feel making it a civil right would infringe on an establishment's right to tell a woman to cover up.
Different Without Children
Parents generally voted along with the overall opinion, but among those who didn't have kids, there was a clear division. Respondents who wanted kids eventually were 5% more likely to support public breastfeeding as a civil right, while those who didn't want kids were 11% less likely.
Young People Don't Mind
Believe it or not, the youngest voters were most likely to support making public breastfeeding a civil right -- about 9% more than the overall. It could be that younger people lean left politically, but it's an interesting stat nonetheless.
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