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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."

Conservatives Hesitate

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.


If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about public breastfeeding. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Mr Wayne 2012/04/09 13:38:40
    Mr Wayne
    +18
    Tell them not to "get upset" if someone stares while they do it.
    I know a guy at the VFW is fascinated by it and watches every time he sees it.
    He says the cops have given him a hard time about it.

    If it becomes a "right" to do in public, then standing and watching them should be no more offensive than watching someone excersize their "right" to smoke in public.

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Opinions

  • johnpaul sue 2012/04/14 23:12:28
    johnpaul
    +1
    I think the problem is that to many people believe the playboy lie, that women are sexual objects! And that nudity is porn.
  • miranda monet 2012/04/10 06:19:23
    miranda monet
    +4
    YES . Women have done it forever. Before formula . So HELL ya !!! It's natural .
  • LADY LIBERTY SILLY WORDSMITH 2012/04/10 06:04:29
    LADY LIBERTY SILLY WORDSMITH
    +1
    In ASIA, NO ONE HAD/HAS EVER HEARD OF BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC.

    In ASIA, NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC.

    But IT ACTUALLY EXISTS. IT NEVER WAS/IS AN ISSUE to DISCUSS because IT WAS

    and IS as NATURAL as EATING SNACKS IN PUBLIC; NOTHING TO DISCUSS OF!
  • LADY LIBERTY SILLY WORDSMITH 2012/04/10 05:15:10 (edited)
    LADY LIBERTY SILLY WORDSMITH
    In ASIA, VERY FEW WOMEN ARE SEEN BREASTFEEDING in PUBLIC.
  • judge 2012/04/10 04:48:46
    judge
    +4
    Any right the government gives you the government can take away. Our rights are from God. We are free to do what is right.
  • middlesex1957 2012/04/10 04:19:15
    middlesex1957
    +3
    It is legal for women to breast feed in public in NY where I live. There is something seriously screwed up with your state if it's not legal and I'd encourage everyone to demand it be legal in their home state. What kind of society do we have if we see something obscene in a woman feeding a baby? I wouldn't live in such a place and I don't. I don't fit any of the demographics of this topic though. I'm a gay, intersexed man born sterile who adopted children other people threw away so nothing could be further from my life experience than biological motherhood and yet I am promoting breast feeding WITHOUT shame. Hows that?
  • Deb middles... 2012/04/10 05:09:37
  • sue Deb 2012/04/10 06:16:54
    sue
    wow.
  • GLaDOS Deb 2012/04/10 11:14:43
  • Deb GLaDOS 2012/04/13 06:14:33
    Deb
    I rode with some friends one time on a long road trip. The woman pumped her breasts every morning and filled bottles of mother's milk for her baby. The baby fell asleep before she finished her bottle, and her mother didn't put it in the cooler. In fact some of it dumped out on the floorboards of the car. The rest of us in the vehicle made her pull over at a car wash and we scrubbed the inside of the car clean but you could still smell the smell for miles and miles and miles.
  • GLaDOS Deb 2012/04/13 10:57:33 (edited)
    GLaDOS
    And you have a similar experience with formula? Must've been something she ate, since that's what basically goes into the stuff, that, or like any milk, it smells bad when it goes bad, which isn't really what I was talking about, since all bad milk tends to stink.
  • Deb GLaDOS 2012/04/30 07:14:34
    Deb
    There is a huge difference in smell between spoiled milk, spoiled formula (which stinks in the first place), and spoiled mother's milk. Mother's milk that is spoiled is the worst!
  • GLaDOS Deb 2012/04/30 11:40:21
    GLaDOS
    I'd say it depends on the mother. Unless you've experience the rancid smell of all mothers' breast milk.
  • sue middles... 2012/04/10 06:15:45
    sue
    +2
    I can't believe that it would be necessary to legislate this. Who are the people who think it should be illegal?
  • Harriet 2012/04/10 03:53:44
  • lcky9 2012/04/10 03:35:22
    lcky9
    +4
    did someone tell these women that they didn't have the right to breast feed or something??? It is a GOD given right.. therefore it can NOT be taken away from you.. HOWEVER.. IF a women has CLASS about herself she will make sure that she's not making anyone else uncomfortable by flopping her boob out and feeding her baby like she's live stock..I remember my mother breast feeding she put a piece of cloth over her shoulder which covered her breast and the baby's face lightly.. therefore affording privacy for the baby and herself while making others around her feel comfortable.. my daughter also breast feed my grandson and did the same when in public ..this was last year.. she said women who just hang out in public to breast feed are just LOOKING for attention..
  • jennie 2012/04/10 03:31:18
    jennie
    +4
    All body fluids and exchange of body fluids belong in a private area.
  • GLaDOS jennie 2012/04/10 11:17:13
    GLaDOS
    +1
    Like spitting? Crying? Runny noses? Nose bleeds?
  • jennie GLaDOS 2012/04/11 01:52:06
    jennie
    Yes unless you have no control over them.
  • GLaDOS jennie 2012/04/11 02:07:06
    GLaDOS
    I think people should eat in private as well, then, especially since some people can't keep their mouths closed. I really don't enjoy seeing masticated food.
  • jennie GLaDOS 2012/04/11 02:48:54
    jennie
    If they keep it in their mouths I don't have a problem.
  • GLaDOS jennie 2012/04/11 11:33:02
    GLaDOS
    That's one of us.
  • closinyou GLaDOS 2012/04/12 06:00:03
    closinyou
    +1
    I'm with Glados! To drive my point home, Ill use another issue we deal with today! Just like some are offended by a mother feeding her child naturally, I am bothered by same sex couples who advertise their union and accuse me of being intollerant and hateful if I don't accept their lifestyle. Well, I don't, God doesn't either, but I'm not intollerant or hate filled because I disagree with same sex marriage. Here's the kicker... no one cares if I'm offended by homosexual displays of affection, which science has no evidence to support as natural and therefore is unnatural. No, we care about the rights of those engaging in these unnatural relationships. We force the acceptance of this lifestyle and teach it as an option in schools!
    Who's rights are we worried about? It seems we have it all mixed up. No wonder America is falling apart!
  • closinyou jennie 2012/04/11 00:39:06
    closinyou
    Tell that to all the athletes! Oh, and those seriously injured or grieving the loss of a loved one.
  • jennie closinyou 2012/04/11 01:54:30
    jennie
    What can't be controlled is always acceptable.
    That's not what they're talking about here.
  • closinyou jennie 2012/04/12 05:42:34
    closinyou
    +1
    You did say, "All body fluids and exchange of body fluids belong in a private area" , right? Thank you for clearing that up. =)

    My overall problem with this whole issue is that not only is breast feeding completely natural and in no way an attempt by a mother, focused on feeding her baby, to expose herself or suggest any type of sexual desire or invitation as so many answers seem to think.

    There are some things in life that the Government has no business interfering with. This is one of them. Women already have the right to breastfeed anywhere and anytime they want. What so many of the so called "offended" ones have so selfishly forgotten is the helpless, dependent, trusting, hungry baby that needs to be fed. Does it really make sense to deprive a baby of being fed because some adult in the area claims to be offended that a mother is providing her child the nutrition he needs.

    SOON ITS GOING TO BE MORE ACCEPTABLE TO KILL THE BABY PRIOR TO BIRTH SO THAT THERE WON'T BE ANY NEED TO BREAST FEED! OH WAIT... NEARLY 1 TRILLION MOMS HAVE ALREADY DONE THIS. MAYBE NOT FOR THAT REASON, BUT I THINK YOU GET THE POINT. WE FIGHT FOR A WOMANS RIGHT TO KILL HER BABY WHILE WE FIGHT TO TAKE A WOMANS RIGHT TO FEED HER BABY AWAY FROM HER!
    WHAT A BUNCH OF IDIOTS I SHARE THIS CORRUPT COUNTRY WITH!
  • jennie closinyou 2012/04/13 03:27:55
    jennie
    Do you want to see a dirty diaper changed in public when a baby is uncomfortable and crying? Somehow moms find a way to do that in private, they can feed baby the same way. I don't need to see either private event whether i'm eating or not.

    You are anti choice and that's fine for you. Choice is a legal right and girls/women don't die without it anymore.
  • closinyou jennie 2012/04/13 06:58:46
    closinyou
    +1
    Thats right. Choice is a legal right. A mother has a choice to change a babies diaper wherever she chooses. She has the right to feed her baby anywhere she chooses. You have the right to watch her do these things or to look away. The problem is that we have immorally allowed murder to be a choice!
    You're wrong! Girls/women do die without it. They also die with the guilt and shame that ALL those who have made this choice deal with. They also die for the most part against their will. It is not the choice they would have made. Others do indeed die by choice! Sadly, the choice was made in a state of instability and therefore not a rational or reasonable choice!
    Abortion is not an issue of choice! The choice has always been there. 50 years ago girls weren't irresponsibly engaged in sex and women were responsible enough to either use contraceptives or simply control their sexual desires! If they failed to be responsible initially, the idea that they must be given the right to kill the life that is dependent on them was absurd.
    The reality is that women who think it is their choice to kill their baby are forgetting that their mother didn't choose this for them.
    Tell me something, why is it acceptable for a mother to kill an unwanted baby, but the killing of a wanted ...
    Thats right. Choice is a legal right. A mother has a choice to change a babies diaper wherever she chooses. She has the right to feed her baby anywhere she chooses. You have the right to watch her do these things or to look away. The problem is that we have immorally allowed murder to be a choice!
    You're wrong! Girls/women do die without it. They also die with the guilt and shame that ALL those who have made this choice deal with. They also die for the most part against their will. It is not the choice they would have made. Others do indeed die by choice! Sadly, the choice was made in a state of instability and therefore not a rational or reasonable choice!
    Abortion is not an issue of choice! The choice has always been there. 50 years ago girls weren't irresponsibly engaged in sex and women were responsible enough to either use contraceptives or simply control their sexual desires! If they failed to be responsible initially, the idea that they must be given the right to kill the life that is dependent on them was absurd.
    The reality is that women who think it is their choice to kill their baby are forgetting that their mother didn't choose this for them.
    Tell me something, why is it acceptable for a mother to kill an unwanted baby, but the killing of a wanted baby of the same age is murder. The only difference is the womans desire! But, not really. The woman could be walking up to the abortion clinic to kill her baby when she is attacked. The baby is killed in the attack and the attacker is charged with murder. Explain that to me.
    ITS NOT ABOUT CHOICE! ITS ABOUT DESIRE AND ACCOUNTABILITY!
    (more)
  • jennie closinyou 2012/04/14 02:40:53
    jennie
    Pregnant women are stable enough to work until the day they deliver and to care for older children. Are they unstable when they decide not to terminate.

    Would you allow a child or adult pregnant from rape or incest to choose?
    And tell men to control themselves since many females getting abortions are much younger than the fathers. The fathers are choosing, try to stop them.

    Choice will always be law somewhere. Pro life people could do more good by helping suffering children already born.
  • closinyou jennie 2012/04/14 21:49:05
    closinyou
    +1
    You have mixed my words. Those who take their OWN life are unstable.
    Initially, rape sounds like an acceptable reason to terminate. However the issue is not rape but weather that life is wanted. As an adoptee, I find your your statements very offensive. I may not have been wanted initially, but I certainly appreciate that my birth mom wasn't so selfish that she only thought about herself. She thought of me also! I may not of fit into her plans but I did fit into the life and family who adopted me! Let me give you an example to show what I mean.
    A rape victim finds that she is pregnant. I agree, this is tragic, not only because she is pregnant but that she was victimized! As a victim she has the right to the pain associated with her pregnancy. No one knows it better than her though. This time the woman decides that although painful she will go through with the pregnancy. She will decide whether to keep or give the baby up for adoption. She gives birth and is unable to part with her baby. Years go by and circumstances change. She now decides that she no longer wants the child and returns to the Dr. She says, she is there to terminate the child she doesn't want. Besides every time she sees the child she is reminded of what happened and the child is a result of...


























    You have mixed my words. Those who take their OWN life are unstable.
    Initially, rape sounds like an acceptable reason to terminate. However the issue is not rape but weather that life is wanted. As an adoptee, I find your your statements very offensive. I may not have been wanted initially, but I certainly appreciate that my birth mom wasn't so selfish that she only thought about herself. She thought of me also! I may not of fit into her plans but I did fit into the life and family who adopted me! Let me give you an example to show what I mean.
    A rape victim finds that she is pregnant. I agree, this is tragic, not only because she is pregnant but that she was victimized! As a victim she has the right to the pain associated with her pregnancy. No one knows it better than her though. This time the woman decides that although painful she will go through with the pregnancy. She will decide whether to keep or give the baby up for adoption. She gives birth and is unable to part with her baby. Years go by and circumstances change. She now decides that she no longer wants the child and returns to the Dr. She says, she is there to terminate the child she doesn't want. Besides every time she sees the child she is reminded of what happened and the child is a result of rape! According to your position, the Dr. has the right to kill the child because its what his/her mother chooses! Chances are the Dr would have this mother committed.
    "Choice will always be law somewhere. Pro life people could do more good by helping suffering children already born."
    Wouldn't that be nice! We probably could do more to help those who weren't murdered by their mothers if a much greater tragedy wasn't taking place.
    WORLDWIDE

    Number of abortions per year: Approximately 42 Million
    Number of abortions per day: Approximately 115,000

    TOTAL, 1922 - 2010: 863,000,000 reported abortions, estimated 950,000,000 total abortions! Nearly 1 TRILLION!!!!

    1. Mao Zedong (Responsible for 34,300,000-63,784,000 deaths)
    Mao Zedong is responsible for the worst acts of genocide in history! When we compare the lives he is responsible for taking with that of the lives mothers have decided to take it becomes clear how disgusting and downright evil abortion is! Zedong killed 1.58% as many as abortion has so far! With your continued support I'm sure many more lives can be exterminated! You should be proud!

    Estimated current global monthly average: 1,237,000 abortions
    You support legalized genocide

    Each year 47,000 women die as a result of unsafe abortion, accounting for 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide. Almost all of these deaths occur in developing countries.[1]
    REFERENCE
    1. Sedgh G et al., Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008, Lancet, 2012 (forthcoming).

    You're in support of this?
    Nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, and nearly all unsafe abortions occur in developing countries. In the developing world, 56% of all abortions are unsafe, compared with 6% in the developed world.[1]
    1. Sedgh G et al., Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008, Lancet, 2012 (forthcoming).

    "Choice will always be law somewhere." (Pro choice) people could do more good by helping suffering children already born."
    --- Interesting how fitting your statement is when its turned around on those not helping those in need and at the same time killing off others!

    GOOD THING YOU WERE WANTED!
    (more)
  • jennie closinyou 2012/04/15 05:00:26
    jennie
    I wasn't talking about suicide. I though you were saying women choose abortion because they're unstable during pregnancy. I meant all the children and adults who used to die because butchers were their dr.'s. The death rate from illegal abortion went to almost nothing after legalization.
    I would never have an abortion but I don't even take chances like that.
    I have no right to judge anyone's choices but mine. i don't live their life or know their reasons.
    I'm happy you were born and adopted, but it's a moot point. I understand your strong feelings because it's personal. Natural abortion, stillbirths, babies unable to survive long all happen tragically. Choice will happen too and needs to be safe. We should help them be safe in other countries but we're at threat here.
    I wish abortions would never happen. You're adopted and I'm from a big family. I cared for younger siblings and respect life. I still don't think it's my right to force any child or woman to stay pregnant no matter how it happened.
    I was wanted but maybe abortion isn't all about not wanting.
  • closinyou jennie 2012/04/15 06:34:33
    closinyou
    "The death rate from illegal abortion went to almost nothing after legalization." - Perfecting the procedure doesn't mean its right to do!
    • Each year 47,000 women die as a result of unsafe abortion, accounting for 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide. Almost all of these deaths occur in developing countries.[1]
    REFERENCE
    1. Sedgh G et al., Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008, Lancet, 2012 (forthcoming).

    "I have no right to judge anyone's choices but mine. i don't live their life or know their reasons." -- WRONG! Telling someone abortion is wrong or what they did was wrong is EXACTLY WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING! GOD TELLS US TO! Doing so is not judging! Damning that person for what they did is to judge! That is not our job.

    I shared because it is relative to this issue. It is not a moot point. It is a point that I could make because my birth mom didn't fall for the selfish lies women are being told today. You say my adoption is a personal issue, but speak openly about and support a woman's right to kill?

    Elected abortions or chosen abortions absent from medical emergency are all due to not wanting!

    We have both shared our views. I mean no disrespect towards you, I simply disagree! We have veered away from the question. For that reason and in consideration of others I will not continue on this topic. Thanks for sharing your views.
  • jennie closinyou 2012/04/16 04:48:52
    jennie
    I have to respond a last time. I meant no disrespect toward you either. We aren't going to agree on something the wisest, most powerful can't agree on. We are both at peace with our opinions and have many agreeing with us. Happiness to you.
  • closinyou jennie 2012/04/16 13:52:08
    closinyou
    +1
    Thank you. Happiness to you as well! Take care.
  • Sylmkael 2012/04/10 03:26:20
    Sylmkael
    +2
    I do not have a problem with it. natural
  • Apache 2012/04/10 03:05:58
  • judge Apache 2012/04/10 04:50:24
    judge
    Careful with that bowstring.
  • L K Apache 2012/04/10 17:38:10
    L K
    She is showing way more than most nursing mothers.
  • Kozman Apache 2012/04/10 21:32:09
    Kozman
    YUMMY!!!
  • johnpaul Apache 2012/04/14 23:39:15
    johnpaul
    The only thing wrong with this is she has much of her beauty cover up.

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