Dozens of nursing mothers share their stories of harassment with a legislative committee. The women say they were the targets of criticism when they tried to breast feed their child in a public place. Carissa Andrews says she was asked to leave a shopping mall after trying to feed her baby on a bench. Sitting in her van in the parking lot afterwards, she wondered why she was being treated like a criminal for trying to take care of her hungry baby.
Dozens of mothers and their children attended a Capitol hearing Tuesday on legislation that would protect women from harassment if they breast feed in public. State Representative Sheldon Wasserman (D-Milwaukee) is a sponsor of the bill. He says babies should have access to the best nutrition they can get, anytime they need it.
Mary Fabian, a mother from Sauk City, says it's simply fears about breast feeding that are the problem…not the act itself. She says misplaced societal concerns about decency prevent many women from breast feeding in public.
Much of Tuesday's testimony focused on women who felt scared to breast feed in public places, often confining themselves at home.
State law does already protect women from being charged with any indecency laws for breast feeding in public. The proposed legislation would just expand the protections offered to nursing mothers.