Some mothers in Evans gathered to advocate their right to breast-feed in public on Monday. (WRDW-TV / March 5, 2012)
News 12 First at Five / Monday, March 5, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- Breast-feeding in public is a hot topic around the country and on Monday, dozens of women in Columbia County took their concerns straight to the courthouse steps.
They're hosting their very own "nurse-in," fighting for change and more protection when it comes to feeding their children in public.
Heather Comprosky proudly breast-fed her son, Wyatt.
"This is our right and actually, our children's right," she said.
But Comprosky says there's a stigma when it comes to breast-feeding in public.
"Most of us do get glares, we get looks, or we get sighs and we're tired of it," Comprosky explained.
And now, these women and their tiny bundles took action with a "nurse-in" on the lawn of the Columbia County courthouse.
"This is just kind of a way to rally all of the moms together to tell Georgia that we need to implement new changes into our Georgia law," Comprosky said.
Organizers want a more specific law that excludes nursing mothers from indecency laws.
"We want to show that breast-feeding is not indecent. We can be out here and be in public and it's not anything indecent or anything to be ashamed of," explained "nurse-in" organizer Andrea McPherson.
"What we're doing is just feeding our children. Most of us don't show anything and if we do, it's not because we want to show our breast to you, it's just that we're trying to feed our children the best way that we have been told to do," Comprosky said.
In Georgia, mothers can breast-feed anywhere they physically have permission to be, like stores and parks, but the groups doing this all across the state say not all places abide by that law.
They're also hoping to punish people or businesses that harass or discriminate against breast-feeding in public.
"The American Academy of Pediatric, The Surgeon General ... I mean everyone is saying breast-feed, breast-feed, breast-feed but we go out in public and do it and we're getting harassed, so, it's a double standard and women are getting caught in the middle," McPherson said.
The idea for the "nurse-in" came from a south Georgia mother who was kicked out of her church for breast-feeding and then told she could be arrested.
Organizers expected about 50 women to stop by the event in Evans. There were also "nurse-ins" held in Atlanta and Savannah as well.
And it appears they're turning heads after all. Late Monday afternoon they announced the Breast-feeding Protection Act now has a bill number, a sponsor and several co-sponsors.